Mother's grief over missing swimmer

THE grief-stricken mother of missing swimmer Daniel Reid has spoken of the family's heartache over the loss of the 25-year-old who “had a heart of gold”.

THE grief-stricken mother of missing swimmer Daniel Reid has spoken of the family's heartache over the loss of the 25-year-old who “had a heart of gold”.

Devastated Carole Reid last night revealed her anguish every time the phone rings at the family's Hunstanton home, believing it to be a call about the discovery of her son's body.

Daniel went missing off the coast at Yarmouth on August 6 after getting into difficulty in the water with friend and housemate Barry Curtis. Mr Curtis struggled for several minutes trying to recue his friend who disappeared while in the sea off North Beach.

Mrs Reid, 43, said: “It is our absolute worst nightmare. If some-one dies through old age or ill health you are prepared for it. You arrange a funeral and you have closure. We have had no chance to say goodbye because of the way Daniel has gone. We are just in limbo.”

Mrs Reid and her husband Ian, 48, had been to Wells for they day when the tragedy happened and first knew something was wrong when they returned home to find a police car parked near their driveway.

Fighting back the tears, Mrs Reid recalled the heartbreaking moment she was told her son had disappeared in off the coast.

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She said: “The officer asked if I had a son called Daniel and I first thought he had been involved in a car accident. He then said there was no easy way to tell me but the lads had got into trouble off Yarmouth beach and unfortunately Daniel did not come back.”

With her voice trembling, Mrs Reid said: “It felt like my heart had been ripped out.”

The family held on to the slim chance that Daniel may have got back to shore safely but as the days passed Mrs Reid said they realised they had lost him.

“It is a rollercoaster of emotions and you are just waiting for that phone call to come that he has been found. Every time the phone rings your heart races, then it turns out to be a canvass call or something stupid and you just want to cry and scream.”

In a bid to highlight the dangers of the sea, Mrs Reid pleaded with beach-goers to be aware of the risks. She said: “People need to be aware that even when the sea looks calm the currents are deadly.”

Daniel was born in Peterborough and moved to Hunstanton with his family 10 years ago. He lived in Norwich for two years before moving to Yarmouth last summer where he lived in Cobholm with friend Barry Curtis.

Daniel had four sisters and five brothers. Mrs Reid said: “He loved his music and partying, he was just a typical 25-year-old. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone out. We just can't believe he is gone.”

Mrs Reid said the family wanted to thank all of the emergency services who helped in the search for Daniel, his friend Mr Curtis who tried to save him and beach-goer Karen Khangura who also made attempts to rescue him.

Mrs Khangura spoke to the Mercury days after the tragedy recalling her vain efforts to save him as other families packed on the beach assumed he was larking about.

Mrs Reid urged beach-goers to raise the alarm as soon as they saw someone in trouble. “If people see someone shouting for help, phone the coastguard. People thought Daniel and Barry were mucking around when in fact they were fighting for their lives.”

The family are finding comfort in fundraising for the emergency services which helped in the search for Daniel. A garden sale held by Mrs Reid over the weekend raised �200 and the family are determined to raise �5,000.

She said: “He was our first-born son. He was born nine weeks early and weighed 3lb 2oz and put up a brave fight then, so to lose him in such a tragic accident is heart-breaking.”