The family of a young Catford artist who drowned in the Thames are planning to launch a 'class action' with relatives of other people to die in the river.

Student Jonathan Adebanjo, 23, was within a metre of the wall at Shadwell Basin in east London when he disappeared under the water, an inquest heard yesterday.

He was never seen alive again.

The Coroner raised concerns about the quality of the warning signs at the Basin, where there have been previous fatalities in the water.

He decided to make recommendations to help to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

Jonathan - known to friends as 'Banjo' - was one of three people to drown in the River Thames on Tuesday July 23 this year, one of the hottest days of the summer.

A 47-year-old swimmer died in Kingston, while another person drowned in the water at Waterloo Bridge.

Jonathan had been swimming with friends at Shadwell Basin, where scores of others had met that day to cool off.

He descended into the water down a ladder on the dock wall, and was "bopping up and down" until a friend shouted "Banjo has gone under," the inquest heard.

His friend dived under the water to find him but could only see "green."

Other bathers jumped in to aid the search, but one said he could go no deeper because the pressure under the water was too much.

Shadwell Basin security guards were patrolling the waters in kayaks at the time, but were changing shifts when Jonathan vanished.

A friend called police who arrive just after 6pm, and began to prod the bottom of the basin with long poles to search for Jonathan.

Jonathan, an illustration student at London's University of the Arts, was eventually recovered by divers the following day on July 24 at around 9am - about 16 hours after he entered the water.

The three friends who were with Jonathan at the east London dock all gave evidence to the inquest at Poplar Coroner's Court.

Jonathan's mum, Joyce Adebanjo, said her son was a "nice guy" and a "peaceful person".

She is now in contact with other drowning victims' loved ones to prevent further deaths and improve signage around the river.

She added: "A smartphone was bigger than the signage there.

"Nothing has been done to prevent these deaths in the most dangerous part of the river.

"I'm working to start a class action with other families who have lost relatives in the river.

"Next week I am meeting with a mum who lost her son near to where Jonathan died. We are going to come together. It's someone's child, someone's brother who has died.

"I want something to be changed. My son is not going to be a statistic."

Jordan-Chey Bent, 24, who jumped into the water minutes after Jonathan, said: "He seemed comfortable. He didn't seem worried. I know that because he was convincing us to get in too.

"Then he let go of the ladder. I was floating on my back about five metres away. That's why I didn't see him go under."

He added: "Our other friend, Aziz, who was standing on the wall, shouted 'Banjo's gone under, I haven't seen him in a while.' At first I thought he was joking.

"I came back to the ladder and then I started going under, but I couldn't see anything. You just seen green: it's dirty water.

"We shouted for help and four others jumped in the water.

"There were bubbles coming up right next to the ladder. They were from within a metre."

"A flotation device was thrown in, but it was of no use."

Crews from the London Fire Brigade, the Marine Support Unit and the London Ambulance Service also attended, the inquest heard.

The Marine Unit told police that there was an "undercurrent in the basin" so officers went to check whether he had drifted.

A sign located around five metres from the ladder where Jonathan entered the water indicated that people had previously drowned in the basin, the hearing was told.

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: “We are deeply saddened that this tragic incident occurred and our thoughts and condolences are with Jonathan Adebanjo’s family and friends. We will look at the recommendations of the inquest.

“For many years, the council has taken many steps to make Shadwell Basin safer. This has included mounting numerous visible signs around the basin warning the public against swimming in the basin. Fences were also installed around the edge of the basin.

“More recently, and in light of the area becoming a meeting point for many during periods of hot weather, we stepped up patrols by Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers in the area and issued several social media and digital communications warning against swimming in the basin during these periods.”