Man in mobility scooter drowns in river

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A DISABLED man has been found dead in the River Thames after his mobility scooter tipped over on the towpath and into the swollen waters.

The body of the un-named 47-year-old Oxford man was discoved on Saturday evening near the river bank at Osney Island.

Lockkeeper Ray Riches explained how he and another man tried in vain to rescue the victim.

He told the Oxford Mail last night: “I wish I could have saved him”.

Mr Riches, who lives at Osney lock, said a young man hammered on his door just after 6pm after spotting the scooter user in the water.

He said: “I put on my shoes and we went running straight down.”

The scooter had tipped over and the man was strapped into it, he said.

The two got the scooter out and Mr Riches said: “I checked to see whether he was breathing and he wasn’t. I tried to revive him but I couldn’t.

“Within seconds, or what seemed like seconds, the paramedics, police and fire service were there.

“They were wonderful, they did an absolutely brilliant job.”

Thames Valley Police said the man, who has not been formally identified, died at the scene and his family had been informed.

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