Devastated family and friends of a teenager who died while swimming in the River Thames are keeping his memory alive five years on - as they continue to their mission to install vital lifesaving equipment to prevent another tragedy.

Kyrece Francis, a popular 13-year-old Great Marlow School pupil, passed away on July 22, 2014, after getting into trouble in the River Thames when swimming with a group of friends.

His tragic death occurred on the first day of that year’s summer holidays and he died less than a month before his 14th birthday.

However, five years on and Kyrece’s name is still commonly heard in Marlow - as the town has seen several pieces of lifesaving equipment installed by UK’s largest river.

Tracy Chamberlain, whose daughter was dating Kyrece at the time of his death is one of the trustees of Kyrece’s Legacy, a charity which was founded following the tragedy.

She said: “The idea to install lifesaving equipment, where Kyrece passed, came about on the evening of this devastating event.

“Kyrece was a warm, giving and beautiful soul with a fun and infectious personality, as a result of his friendly and caring nature he had a wealth of friends.

“Placing safety units along the Thames seemed a fitting way to remember Kyrece, still helping others as he always had.”

The charity has been instrumental in river safety following Kyrece’s death as there are now 27 devices along the River Thames between Marlow’s Temple Lock and Cookham’s Reach Sailing Club.

All the rescue equipment contains a torpedo style b’line device, which is aimed to help those struggling in the water in a matter of moments.

The lifesaving units were installed with the help from Wycombe District Council (on council owned land), private landowners and local societies such as the River Thames Society, the Marlow Angling Club and the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park Community Partnership.

The latest safety devices were fitted along the public fishing stretch of the Thames within the Country Park to the east of Marlow, with the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park Community Partnership being instrumental in getting this done.

They were installed on Sunday, June 30, by Mike Overall and Ricard Boas from the Country Park Partnership along with Tracy, her son George, Olivia and Paul Chivers.

George, Olivia and Paul are all part of Kyrece’s Legacy.

Tracy also told the Bucks Free Press: “Kyrece’s Legacy is currently funding swimming lessons at Ash Hill Primary School in Micklefield, High Wycombe.

“This will enable 60 children - in addition to the 30 children funded by the school - to learn to swim and have water safety lessons each year.

“Kyrece’s Legacy will continue to fund these lessons in September 2019, for the third year running.

“And this has been possible due to the generosity of the Marlow and High Wycombe community as well as local businesses to whom we owe a very sincere thank you from Kyrece’s Legacy, family and friends.”

In November 2017, Kyrece’s Legacy, Tesco Loudwater and Community Champion Claire Dicker donated funds to Loudwater Primary School to help with renovations to the school swimming pool.

For information about Kyrece’s Legacy, visit