Mother died after heroic attempt to rescue two boys off the coast

PUBLISHED: 22:17 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 11 August 2020

Waxham Sands Holiday Park Beach Norfolk Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Waxham Sands Holiday Park Beach Norfolk Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN


A mother died after desperately fighting to rescue two boys who were struggling with an inflatable canoe off the coast.

The mother, aged in her 30s, was recovered from the sea at Waxham but pronounced dead in hospital on Sunday, August 9 - though the boys managed to get to safety.

She has today been named locally as Danielle Chilvers, with visitors to the beach describing their shock at the tragic events.

Sea Palling Lifeboat and Coastguard teams from Bacton and Winterton had responded to reports of “multiple people in the sea off Waxham” at around 5pm on Sunday, HM Coastguard Bacton said.

Tony Garbutt, of HM Coastguard, told ITV Anglia: “It’s a classic case of the rescuer coming into the dilemma.

“This started off with a child playing on an inflatable canoe who got into difficulties.

“Another person went out to assist, followed then by the mother and unfortunately it was the mother that came into danger, and it happens time and time again.

“It’s difficult to try and criticise because as a parent myself you can’t stand by and watch your children be in danger and not do anything.”

Mark Skerrett, of Sea Palling Independent Lifeboat, said it was difficult to get close to the woman due to the “waves that were rolling”, but a member of crew got into the water and swam into shore with her where CPR was attempted.

Superintendent Jason Broome, of Norfolk Police, said: “Colleagues from Norfolk Coastguard and the East of England Ambulance Service assisted officers with the incident.

“A woman, aged in her 30s, was recovered from the water and she was sadly pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

“Her death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

“While inquiries are continuing to establish the exact circumstances leading up to the woman’s death, this is a tragic situation and our condolences are with her family.”

One man from Norwich, who was visiting the beach with his wife and two children on Monday, said he had learned of the death while at a shop in neighbouring Sea Palling.

“It makes you aware of the dangers,” he said.

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