The family and friends of a North Belfast man who died after falling in to the River Lagan in January after a night out are nearing their target of raising £40,000 to buy sonar equipment for a community rescue team after a series of fundraisers over the last month.

Joby Murphy was at the Snow Patrol concert in the Odyssey Arena on January 26 when he fell into the river.

The 20-year-old’s body wasn’t recovered until February 25 after a specialist rescue team from County Cork were able to locate him using their sonar equipment.

Since then Joby’s friends and family have been raising money to buy similar equipment for the County Antrim based Community Rescue Services.

Now over £22,000 has been raised, boosted by a donation of £10,000 by rock band Snow Patrol, who Joby had seen perform on the night he fell.

Philip Morgan, a close friend of Joby’s, raised nearly £2,000 when he organised a charity night at the Chester Bar last month

“It was a brilliant night and it for such a great cause,” he said.

“There has been an awful lot of good that has come out of this tragedy and I would like to thank absolutely everybody who helped out at the Chester, everyone has been fantastic.

“Hopefully now we are closer to getting the money for the sonor equipment because it is so important that Community Rescue Services have it available here in the North.”

More events are planned for the coming weeks, including a night with three mediums this Saturday (May 12, 8pm – 9.30pm, £10) and a quiz night in the Cliftonville Club on May 17. For information on more upcoming events visit