Family of Kristers Bednarskis thank ‘amazing and generous’ donors as funeral crowdfunding page tops £5,000 target
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The family of an ‘amazing’ young man who drowned at Bawsey Country Park have thanked “amazing and generous” online donors after a fundraising page set up to pay for his funeral has topped the £5,000 target.
Kristers ‘Kris’ Bednarskis’ body was pulled from the county park lake near King’s Lynn on Saturday (August 8) following a search by firefighters in boats.
The 22-year-old amateur powerlifter from Peterborough was swimming when he reportedly got into difficulty at around 11.30am.
Close friend Ilja Jevtusenko, who was there at the time of his death, launched a crowdfunding page in a bid to cover her friend’s funeral costs.
Within days, more than 230 donors helped generate more than £5,300 – topping the £5,100 target to help cover costs and arrange a headstone.
Ms Jevtusenko said: “I have no words honestly, I just don’t know what to say, I honestly appreciate everything everyone has done, everyone who shared and everyone who donated.
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“We have reached our goal in such a tiny amount of time! In all honesty, I didn’t think we would even do £500, but you all proved me wrong.
“I honestly can’t thank everyone enough for supporting by donations and shares!
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“Kristers’ family wanted me to pass on a really big thank you to you all as well! This has helped us all so bloody much!
“It has sorted so many things and troubles out for the family! And it’s one burden off their shoulders.
“And I know If any of us would be in the position Kristers would be first to help, and I know he is looking down on all of us, proudly, and is also thankful to you all for being so amazing and generous in helping his family.
“I am honestly in loss of words; I can’t thank you all enough for this and I can’t believe how the donations are still going up and above the target.
“Just thank you everyone. It’s all for you my brother.”
Saturday’s tragedy was the third death to happen at Bawsey in a decade.
A 41-year-old man from King’s Lynn and a 16-year-old boy from London drowned on the same day in July 2013.
In a statement on social media the owners and staff of the park offered their condolences to Kris’ family and friends.
They said: “The loss of this young man’s life is a tragedy which we hope with all our hearts will never be repeated.
“We remain committed to improving the park and promoting its safe usage so that it can remain a beautiful natural site for local people to use safely and enjoy for many years to come, but we need our visitors to help us.
“We reiterate our plea for visitors to abide by the park rules and please stay out of the water so that no future tragedies occur.”
Safety signage was increased after businessman Stephen Bacon took over to former gravel workings in 2018, pledging to turn them into a family-friendly country park.