Freak wave claims mother and children

A A A

A woman and her 11-year-old son died after they were swept out to sea by a freak wave at the North Yorkshire resort of Scarborough. Rescue workers were continuing to search for the woman's daughter, aged 13, but with freezing sea temperatures, hopes of finding her alive were fading late last night.

A woman and her 11-year-old son died after they were swept out to sea by a freak wave at the North Yorkshire resort of Scarborough. Rescue workers were continuing to search for the woman's daughter, aged 13, but with freezing sea temperatures, hopes of finding her alive were fading late last night.

A major air and sea search began just after 4pm yesterday when four members of the same family were swept from the promenade of the town's North Bay. A coastguard helicopter recovered the boy and his mother, 33, from the water half an hour later. They were taken to Scarborough Hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

Drew Mahood, the Humber Coastguard watch manager, said: "The search is still on-going for the 13-year-old female, but now with darkness fallen, it makes it extremely difficult. Our sympathies go out to the family and friends at this tragic time."

Witness reports suggested that, after the children were dragged into the sea, their mother and her partner went into the water in an effort to rescue them but got into trouble themselves.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "It would appear the two youngsters were at the water's edge and somehow got into some difficulty. It appears the mother has gone in to assist and has got into difficulty herself."

The man managed to get ashore and was not injured, as was an eight-year-old boy. A surfer who tried to rescue the children was also treated in hospital. A coastguard spokes-man said he could not confirm suggestions the children were "wave-dodging" on the slipway when waves of up to 15ft swept them away. But he added: "I can't see a reason for them being on the sea slipway in the conditions at the time. We would advise all members of the public to steer clear of the slipways. The tide was coming in and it was not a place to be."

He described the conditions at sea as "horrendous", and said RAF helicopters from two bases helped in the search as well as police, fire crews, coastguard, lifeboat and members of the public. Rescuers had to wait for the tide to recede before resuming the search for the teenager.

Police said the sea was not particularly rough but it was extremely cold at this time of year. The wide, horseshoe-shaped sands of Scarborough's North Bay are popular with families and dog-walkers when the tide is out, but the location can be treacherous at high tide. The last fatality in the bay was a woman who had gone in to rescue her dog in 1992.

A man, 45, and his 13-year-old daughter were also missing last night after falling from a dinghy while sailing on Loch Lomond in Scotland. Another daughter, aged 15, raised the alarm after the rigid inflatable boat capsized at Milarrochy Bay yesterday afternoon. She was found in the dinghy by two anglers, and said her father and sister had fallen overboard.

A police spokesman told BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland: "An older daughter who was still on board the boat managed to bring the boat to a halt and raised the alarm. She actually jumped in the water in an attempt to try to save her sister and her father and managed to clamber back on the boat. She's been taken to Stirling Royal Infirmary. She's obviously suffering from the effects of the cold water."

Rescue helicopters scoured the last known location of the pair last night while coastguards searched the shoreline. Central Scotland police underwater units were also involved. Emergency services were due to resume their search at first light this morning, but a spokesman said : "There are obvious concerns given the temperature of the water in Loch Lomond."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore