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Petition to fence off river that claimed the life of Orpington firefighter Anthony Knott

A petition urging a council to fence off a river has been signed by 1,500 people in just 24 hours.

The appeal on the Change.org site was started by Claire Packham following the death of Orpington firefighter Anthony Knott who was found drowned in the water on Friday.

Lucy Otto and her fiance Anthony Knott
Lucy Otto and her fiance Anthony Knott

It calls for East Sussex County Council to fence off the River Ouse.

Miss Packham said the fence was needed "to stop people falling in and accidents not only to people but animals too, and most importantly deaths."

The petition has been backed by Mr Knott's fiancee Lucy Otto who wrote: "We are going through the worst time of our lives and I wouldn’t wish this on any other family.

"That river is dangerous and needs a safety fence so that tragedies like this don’t happen to anyone else."

Mr Knott had disappeared from Lewes three weeks earlier.

His body was found off Denton Island, at Newhaven.

Anthony Knott's body was found off Denton Island eight miles down-stream
Anthony Knott's body was found off Denton Island eight miles down-stream

The 33-year-old father-of-four had last been seen walking up Market Street in Lewes, East Sussex, on Friday, December 20, just after 7.30pm after leaving a work night out.

A member of the public found his body eight miles away.

Lucy Otto said: "I am literally living in a nightmare I wish to God I could wake up from."

You can sign the petition here.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We were very saddened to hear the news about Mr Knott and would like to extend our sympathy to his family.

“While this petition is directed at us, the Environment Agency is the body responsible for rivers and riverbanks and we’d be happy to pass the petition on to them.

“If as a result of the coroner’s inquest there are any recommendations for the county council that fall in our area of responsibility, we will of course consider them in the normal way.”

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