Tragic Teenager’s Bold Escape Ends in Tragedy: A Fresh Perspective on the River Itchen Incident

According to recent reports, a tragic incident unfolded on November 7, 2021, when 15-year-old Marcel Wochna lost his life in the River Itchen near Southampton’s Cobden Bridge. Marcel’s untimely death occurred after he made the bold decision to jump into the river, claiming he “wouldn’t let police arrest him.” Although police officers discovered his body two days later, the circumstances surrounding his decision to flee remain shrouded in sadness and confusion.

Marcel was with a friend the night he tragically passed away. They had sneaked out of their homes around 10:00 PM BST to smoke in a park near St Denys. Their evening adventure took an unexpected turn when they ended up at Cobden Marina, where they found themselves aboard several moored boats. Feeling the presence of the police closing in, Marcel voiced his intention to evade arrest and escape the authorities. Tragically, he made the fateful decision to jump into the freezing and swift-flowing river.

The friend who was with Marcel that night recalled the moment Marcel leapt into the water, describing it as a split-second decision driven by fear and a desire to avoid trouble with his mother. Marcel’s love for his mother and the realization that he was grounded motivated his desperate escape attempt. However, the darkness of the evening obscured the exact sequence of events that followed. The friend remembers hearing a splash and a gasp, desperately hoping that Marcel would resurface unharmed.

The police were alerted to Marcel’s presence and quickly arrived at the scene. Despite their efforts to save him, Marcel tragically lost his life in the river. Hampshire Constabulary subsequently launched an extensive two-day search operation before discovering his body over two miles away from where he initially entered the water.

This heartbreaking incident has prompted Hampshire Constabulary to refer the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). As the investigation and inquest into Marcel’s death unfold, it is crucial to approach this tragedy with sensitivity and empathy, amplifying the voices of those affected while seeking a deeper understanding of the circumstances surrounding the events that led to this devastating outcome.


Q: What led to Marcel’s decision to jump into the river?

A: Marcel, who had been grounded and did not want to get in trouble with his mother, made the impulsive decision to escape arrest and evade the police by jumping into the river.

Q: How did the friend who was with Marcel describe the events?

A: Marcel’s friend recounted that Marcel expressed his intention to jump into the water, and despite the freezing temperature and strong currents, he made the decision to flee.

Q: What is Hampshire Constabulary doing in response to Marcel’s death?

A: Hampshire Constabulary has referred the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure a thorough investigation and examination of the circumstances surrounding Marcel’s death.

Q: How long did it take for Marcel’s body to be found?

A: Marcel’s body was discovered by police officers two days after he initially entered the River Itchen near Southampton’s Cobden Bridge.