AFTER their son tragically died in the river, Tom Jones' parents say they have made it their mission to prevent more drownings.

Ian and Vicki Jones, whose son was just 18 when he drowned in the River Severn in Worcester after a night out, have joined the Home and Dry campaign.

Tom had only just arrived at the University of Worcester to study to be a primary school teacher when he died.

At the campaign launch yesterday, Mr and Mrs Jones spoke of how Tom's disappearance unfolded in September last year.

Mrs Jones said:"He came back home on the weekend before his disappearance to go to the football with Ian, and it was great to catch up and hear how well he was settling in.

"Ian dropped him off back in Worcester afterwards and said 'see you on Friday mate - send your mom a text'

"He said when we dropped him off that he was tired and would probably go straight to bed, but he changed his mind and went out with his friends.

"We sent our daily messages and when these were not answered we called him lots of times.

"Ian was prepared to come to Worcester and we then got a phone call from one of Tom's flatmates saying he hadn't been home.

"The police were overwhelmingly supportive to us and we were able from CCTV images to piece together his movements that night.

"We walked down by the river and Sabrina Bridge and were astounded that lots of the cameras were either not recording or turned off."

Mr Jones added: "As parents, we sent Tom to uni with his list of dos and don'ts, but nothing about staying away from water.

"We will never come to terms with the loss but it has become our mission to support this campaign.

"Tom was such a loss to a generation of schoolchildren who would have loved their Mr Jones."

Mrs Jones said Tom "was a joy to have around".

"He was confident without being arrogant, and had a wonderful way with people," she said. "He had a great time in sixth form and said it was the best two years of his life. It was this that made him want to be a primary school teacher."

Home and Dry is an initiative between public bodies to raise awareness and help prevent accidental death by drowning.

The campaign, involving West Mercia Police, the fire service and search and rescue groups including the RNLI, aims to educate the public on the dangers of cold water shock and accidental drowning, which claimed the lives of 430 people across England last year.

Other organisations involved include West Mercia Search and Rescue, RNLI, RLSS UK, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Shropshire Fire Service, the Canal and River Trust, the Samaritans, the Street Pastors and the University of Worcester.

The campaign also looks at practical ways of preventing drowning, such as barriers and life preservers near waterways across the area.

West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: "We have all got to commit to taking steps to make the situation better.

"I have always been a believer in that we should never doubt that a small group of very committed individuals can change the world."