THE parents of a tragic teenager who drowned in the river Severn have made an emotional return to the riverside, a year after his death.

Bromsgrove student Tom Jones, 18, disappeared nine days before his body was recovered from the River Severn in Worcester last September.

CCTV cameras near where he was last seen picked up a cry for help moments before he apparently slipped and fell down an embankment.

Ian and Vicki Jones, Tom's parents, spoke about their experiences as they approach the first anniversary of his death.

Mrs Jones said: "It is definitely emotional coming down here again, especially as it is nearly a year on from what happened.

"We are so grateful to all the friends and family who have helped us through it, and even people we don't know from organisations and charities that have offered support.

"We have played our part in a tragic way in raising awareness of the dangers of water and we don't want another family to have to go through what we've been through."

Tom's father Ian added: "We had no idea how much support was out there until we needed it from charities and counsellors.

"You never know what help is out there until you go through something like this."

The couple were speaking at an event launched to promote the 'Home and Dry' campaign, which seeks to educate the public on the dangers of cold water shock and help prevent more drowning deaths.

Representatives from West Mercia Police, the Royal Life Saving Society, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the University of Worcester met by Worcester Rowing Club.

The event, held on September 11, was part of a wider initiative to give members of the public the skills, confidence and equipment to save lives.

Mrs Jones said: "It is really positive thing that has come out of this and seeing all these people here means so much.

"There needs to be a really strong message for students in Worcester, not just for this year, but we have a vision for this to be the start of something bigger, promoting this message year in, year out."

Mr Jones was starting a primary teaching course and had moved to the city from his home in Bromsgrove.

After a night out with friends he was thought to have crossed the footbridge, near to Worcester Racecourse, at about 3.50am on September 19, and walked on to a footpath that runs along the top of flood defences.

His body was recovered from the river on September 28.

On 30 September, hundreds of people held a candlelit vigil on the bridge where he was last seen alive.