Dog walker swept away in sea off Blackpool named

 

A man who was swept into the sea in gale-force winds, leading to a search operation involving the Duke of Cambridge, has been named by police.

Paul Morris, 41, from South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire, was walking near the resort's Promenade with his dog and two friends when he and another man were swept into the water just after midnight on New Year's Day.

William, an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter pilot, was called out with crewmates from his base at RAF Valley on Anglesey to help locate the man after his friend managed to climb out and raise the alarm.

The Duke used the lights from his Sea King helicopter to help RNLI and Coastguard crews from Blackpool and Lytham St Annes look for the dog walker in the water.

Several searches carried out since yesterday's tragedy have been unable to recover Mr Morris's body and no further searches are planned, Lancashire Police said today.

A spokeswoman said: "A man who was swept into the sea at Blackpool just after midnight on New Year's Day has been named as 41-year-old Paul Morris. from South Shore, Blackpool, previously from Barrow-in-Furness.

"Sadly, despite shoreline searches, his body has not yet been recovered from the water.

"There are no further searches planned."

Mr Morris and his friends were walking along steps leading from the Promenade to the sea, close to the Central Pier on South Shore, when a wave washed them into the water, police said.

Flight Lieutenant Wales, as the Duke is known in the military, completed his first rescue as a fully operational pilot in October 2010, helping a man who fell seriously ill while working on a gas rig in Morecambe Bay.

William has gone on to qualify as an operational captain, which gives him overall control of his helicopter.

A source confirmed the Duke had taken part in the search for Mr Morris.

RAF Search and Rescue attend an average of 1,950 call-outs each year. RAF Valley typically responds to a high number, as it covers North Wales, popular for walking and climbing.

Mr Morris is survived by his mother, sister and two brothers, police said.

In a statement issued by the force, his family thanked those involved in the search and rescue operation.

They said: "Paul is a hard working man who enjoys spending time with friends and loves his family dearly.

"He's only recently moved back to Blackpool and we're obviously shocked by what has happened and it's a difficult time for us all, particularly as Paul can't swim and we fear the worst.

"We're now just waiting for that fateful call to say that he's been found so we can have some closure.

"We'd like to thank all the emergency services for their efforts in trying to find and rescue Paul."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United 1 player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot