Reser­voir swim stu­dent drowns

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - DA­MON WILKIN­SON

THE heart­bro­ken mother of a teenager who drowned in a reser­voir has told how she begged him not to go swim­ming.

Paul Law­son, 16, died on Mon­day at Green­booth Reser­voir in Rochdale.

It is un­der­stood the Hop­wood Hall Col­lege stu­dent was swim­ming with pals at the beauty spot near Nor­den when he got into dif­fi­cul­ties.

His friends des­per­ately tried to res­cue the Manch­ester United fan and un­der­wa­ter search teams were on the scene within min­utes, but trag­i­cally he didn’t sur­vive.

Paul’s mum Natalie Law­son, of War­dle, Rochdale, told how she had tried to per­suade Paul, who has a younger sis­ter Char­lotte, aged eight, not to go to the reser­voir.

She said: “It was just a tragic ac­ci­dent. I begged him not to go. I told him wa­ters like that were dan­ger­ous, but he wouldn’t lis­ten.

“His friends did all they could to keep him above water, but they couldn’t hold him. God knows what they must be go­ing through now.

“You hear about things like this on the news and think ‘ What must the par­ents be think­ing’ and now I’m in that sit­u­a­tion.

“There’s just a void. I feel numb.

“How many more fam­i­lies are go­ing to have to go through what I’m go­ing through be­fore kids stop swim­ming in reser­voirs?”

Natalie, 35, also paid a touch­ing trib­ute to her ‘foot­ball-mad’ son, who played for Hoo­ley Bridge Celtic in Hey­wood and was study­ing a spe­cial­ist foot­ball course at Hop­wood Hall Col­lege in Mid­dle­ton.

She said: “He was the life and soul of the party - he al­ways got ev­ery­one smil­ing.

“He had lots and lots of friends and he would al­ways stick up for them if they were in trou­ble.

“His sis­ter doted on him - he was her hero. He was a proper big brother, very pro­tec­tive of her and they were re­ally close.

“He helped me through some bad times and was there for the good times. He was my back­bone.

“We used have a lot of ban­ter with each other. Some­times I was his mum, some­times I felt like his best friend. He would say ‘ You’re my trendy young mum’ and said he was glad I was only 35 be­cause we’d have lots of years to­gether.

“You couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter son. He’ll al­ways be my baby boy.”

Emer­gency ser­vices were called to Green­booth at 5.55pm yes­ter­day.

At that point Paul had been under the water for five min­utes.

Divers searched the water, but trag­i­cally dis­cov­ered his body.

Det Chief Insp John Har­ris said: “My sin­cer­est con­do­lences are with the boy’s fam­ily at hear­ing this heart-wrench­ing news.

“We are work­ing closely with our part­ners and wit­nesses to the in­ci­dent to un­der­stand the cir­cum­stances.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact 101 quot­ing ref­er­ence num­ber 1911 of 19/06/17 or Crimestoppers, anony­mously, on 0800 555 111.

Re­becca Day

Emer­gency ser­vices at­tend the scene where Paul Law­son drowned in Green­booth Reser­voir

Paul Law­son

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