Lifebuoys 'stolen' days before Nottingham teen water death

Lifebuoy by the River Trent in Nottingham
Image caption The 26 lifebuoys were all present when they were checked a week before a teenager's death nearby

Lifebuoys on a river are thought to have been stolen days before a 19-year-old man died after getting into difficulty in the water.

The teenager's body was recovered from the River Trent, near Victoria Embankment in Nottingham, on Monday.

The city council said all 26 lifebuoys nearby were checked the previous week but two have since gone and it can "only conclude they've been stolen".

Police said the loss would form part of their investigation into the death.

'Terrible potential consequences'

Eddie Curry, the city council's head of public realm services, said: "This awful incident shows only too clearly the terrible potential consequences of [the lifebuoys] being missing when they are needed."

However the authority added it could not speculate about whether the teenager would definitely have survived had the lifebuoys been present.

Image caption Emergency services were called out at about 13:15

The man's body was recovered by emergency services at about 15:30 BST - just over two hours after concerns about him were first reported.

Eyewitnesses said he had been trying to swim across the water with a friend.

Nottinghamshire Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

The force added it was aware of reports of lifebuoys being missing at Victoria Embankment.

"This will form one part of the investigation into the circumstances," a spokesperson said.

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