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River death student inquest opens

Published 12/05/2015

Euan Coulthard whose body was found in the river Wear (Durham Police/PA Wire)
Euan Coulthard whose body was found in the river Wear (Durham Police/PA Wire)

An inquest will be held for a popular law student whose body was found in a river following a night out with friends.

Euan Coulthard, 19, was the third Durham University student in little over a year to die in the Wear following drinking sessions.

The spate of deaths caused police, the university and other bodies to call on students to reconsider their alcohol intake.

Mr Coulthard's disappearance sparked a major search after he went missing during a night out in January.

CCTV pictures showed him heading down steps towards the River Wear.

His body was located nine days after he went missing by Trevor Bankhead, a shellfish diver working in Scotland, but who was from Durham and who knew the Wear well.

Mr Coulthard's devastated parents Hester and Ross and 17-year-old sister Frances issued a statement which said: "Losing Euan in the way we have has left us totally bereft and our lives will never be the same again.

"Euan was a friendly, out-going and fun-loving young man who embraced university life and had a very bright future ahead of him.

"He was thoroughly enjoying his time at St Mary's College and had made many friends in his time there."

Mr Coulthard, from Bottesford, Leicestershire, was a popular undergraduate.

Mr Bankhead, 45, has previously said he was moved to join the search by the thought of bringing him back to his mother.

He said when he found Mr Coulthard's body less than a minute after entering the water he thought: "I have come to take you home my friend."

The other Durham students who drowned were Sope Peters and Luke Pearce.

The inquest at Crook Civic Centre follows one for rowing coach Bill Grant who fell into the Wear during a coaching session.

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