Grieving family set up 'Sam's army' to campaign after boy, 16, drowns in South Yorkshire reservoir

The family of Sam Haycock – the Rotherham teenager who died after drowning in Ulley reservoir on May 28 – have set up a campaign group to call for more safety equipment at ‘open water’ sites.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 9:51 am

Samuel Haycock had visited Ulley Reservoir in Rotherham with friends on Friday afternoon when he got into difficulty in the water.

Emergency services responded to the incident at around 3 pm, and specialist search teams made a desperate attempt to find him.

Sadly he was found and pronounced dead at the scene, having drowned.

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Sam Haycock who tragically died after getting into difficulties at Ulley Reservoir.
Sam Haycock who tragically died after getting into difficulties at Ulley Reservoir.

Now Sam’s family and friends have set up ‘Sam’s Army Mission’ – a group which campaigns for extra measures to be taken to ensure other people are safer around reservoirs.

And their first event will be a sponsored walk from Ulley Country Park in Rotherham to the band stand at Clifton Park, on Spetember 11.

Organiser Jodi Ryalls said: “Sam’s Army Mission is now an active organisation raising money for all life-saving equipment around water.

Sam Haycock tragically died last week

"We are now in Sam’s name campaigning and fundraising for life safe equipment in open waters in a desperate attempt to save lives.”

Anybody wishing to take part in the walk, or sponsor somebody who is, can contact the group via the ‘Sam’s Army Mission’ Facebook group.

Following the tragic incident, police and fire services warned people about the dangers of swimming in open water.

SYP Superintendent Cherie Buttle said: “Yesterday’s incident was incredibly tragic, and my heart goes out to the boy’s family and loved ones – my thoughts are with them today.

Ulley Reservoir, Sheffield. Picture: Chris Etchells

“While I would encourage people to avoid speculation as to the circumstances surrounding what happened, I urge everyone to be careful while enjoying the bank holiday weather. Please be safe.”

“While I would encourage people to avoid speculation as to the circumstances surrounding what happened, I urge everyone to be careful while enjoying the bank holiday weather. Please be safe.”

SYFR Area Manager Stewart Nicholson said: "Too many young lives are needlessly lost in open water every year. Our message couldn't be clearer - please, please stay out of the water and stick to swimming pools or organised swimming groups instead."

The funeral of Sam Haycock took place at Rotherham Crematorium.