On Saturday morning a beautiful young couple with everything to live for set off for a romantic kayak ride. Tragically only one of them came back, the other was claimed by the deceptive waters of New York’s Hudson River. Tali Lennox, the daughter of singer Annie Lennox, survived but her boyfriend Ian Jones drowned.
His mother has said Ian, her only son, died trying to save Tali when their kayak capsized. Helped by her deep spirituality, Sherron Jones says she feels at peace, but the 22-year-old former model is "a wreck". She told People: "It was nuts how deeply in love they were."
Tali Lennox and Ian Jones were 'deeply in love'
Police said that alcohol may have been involved. Sherron says that’s impossible as her son had been sober for four years. A talented photographer, he had turned his life round, focusing on his project to document the lives of street children.
Sherron says: "He gave his life to AA. He was not drinking. He only drank water. He was so strong and healthy."
"He made such a difference in so many people's lives. Everybody loved (him and Tali) and liked to have them around. They were such a positive couple."
The young lovers had been sitting around a fire after an all-night party in the Hudson-front mansion of well-known hotelier André Balzas when they decided to take out the kayak. André was not at home at the time. Tali and Ian planned to head out to a lighthouse before returning to their Manhattan apartment.
The boat tipped over in the strong currents in the middle of the river. Ian, 32, was weighed down by the weight of his clothes fighting to reach his girlfriend. It was 20 minutes before a passing boat heard her screams and she was rescued.
André was the one who phoned to tell Sherron that her son was missing. "It's been hard. It's kind of surreal. I feel a real peace about me. I am not falling apart," she says.
However, it has been hard on Tali, who has been making a name for herself as a portrait painter. "She is a wreck, she's a mess. She keeps saying she wishes Ian knew she was okay,” says Sherron. “He died for her. He tried to save her. She wants him to know she is okay."
On Tuesday, the distraught young artist published an emotional tribute to Ian on her Instagram page, describing him as “a beautiful soul” and her “partner in crime and creativity”.