Members of the Oxford University Boat Club are preparing to fly out to Spain for a training trip as the search for a missing university rower goes on. The crew's director of rowing Steve Royle said: “We all feel uncomfortable about this tragic accident. It's a very intensive situation. But we've got to move on as life goes on.” Oxford University rower Leo Blockley, 21, vanished on Friday morning after his boat was swamped by turbulent waters during a training session in Amposta, near Barcelona. Mr Royle's squad of 20 oarsmen and three coxes are to take part in a 10-day camp off the river Ebro, about 65 miles away from the spot where Mr Blockley vanished. The trip is preparation for the Boat Race against Cambridge in the Spring, from which the Blues Boat will be selected. They are flying out on January 2. Mr Royle insisted that Spain offered far safer rowing than the Thames and denied claims that the rowers took a chance with safety after warnings from the authorities of storms ahead. Mr Royle said Mr Blockley was sucked under because he swam for the bank during a freak storm while the rest of the squad clung onto the boat to await their rescue. “It's perfectly safe, but you're on water. All the safety precautions will be in place. If Leo had held on to the boat there would not have been a problem. You cannot stop people looking for activities and looking for danger.” Mr Blockley's sister has joined her parents in Spain as the search continues. Rebecca Blockley, 23, has joined her father Stephen, 49, a teacher, and mother Jane, 50, a doctor, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. The search for Mr Blockley was suspended tonight but was expected to resume in the morning, said Oxford University. A spokeswoman said that the Spanish emergency services would continue the task of scouring the river for up to another three days.


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