Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Hero mum-of-two drowns trying to save son and friend after they fall in sea

A hero mother drowned while trying to save her son and his friend who became separated from their sea kayak in Norfolk during the summer holidays.

Two beach goers described how they saw the boys at sea at Waxham, Norfolk, and swam out to rescue them on August 9, an inquest heard.

They fought to bring them to safely to short and were exhausted after the rescue mission.

They were then told that a woman was in the water.

Mum-of-two Danielle Chilvers, 37, from Swaffham, was caught by the strong waves and a suspected riptide when she dashed to save the boys.

A surfer swam out on his board to help her and she was brought back to shore with the help of a lifeboat crew, which arrived from nearby Sea Palling.

Coastguards desperately tried to resuscitate her but she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene by an air ambulance doctor.

The teacher died by misadventure, the inquest in Norwich concluded on Wednesday.

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Chris Gribble, chief executive of the National Centre for Writing, and fellow beach goer Pasco Kevlin told how they went into the water and rescued the two boys.

In a witness statement read during the hearing, he said he saw the boys who lost contact with their yellow sea kayak.

He was 'immediately worried' and the boat was 'bobbing away from them'.

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Mr Gibble and Mr Kevlin swam into the sea to help the boys, who were 'distressed and calling for help'.

The sea was "ferocious" with waves coming in all directions, but between them they managed to get them to shore.

Norfolk's senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said: "This is a very tragic death and demonstrates the dangers of our coastline.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who helped and risked their own lives, including those who were on the beach on the day and the coastguards and lifeboat service.'

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She recorded a misadventure conclusion, adding: I am satisfied this was an unintended outcome of an intended act. This very tragic death demonstrates the dangers of our coastline.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who helped and risked their own lives, including those on the beach on the day and the Coastguards and lifeboat service."

She added: "Two boys were in the water in a craft. I heard that the sea was rough and there was a strong wind.

"They became separated from their boat. Members of the public went into the sea in an attempt to save the boys.

"Despite the very rough sea, they were able to bring them back to shore. Another body was then seen in the sea.

"A surfer managed to bring Miss Chilvers back to shore. Miss Chilvers was unconscious and attempts were made at resuscitation, but she was declared dead at the scene."

Miss Chilvers, who also had a 17-year-old son, worked in a safeguarding role at Nicholas Hamond Academy, a secondary school and sixth form in Swaffham.        

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