Shane Galliers: Search called off for man swept out to sea as he spread his sister's ashes

Coastguards searched for Galliers yesterday in treacherous conditions

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The Independent Online

Coastguards yesterday called off their search for a man who went missing at sea on Saturday afternoon, after he was caught by a large wave as he scattered his sister’s ashes.

Shane Galliers, 51, from Launceston was last seen at around 5pm on Saturday at Port William, near the village of Tintagel in north Cornwall, as he said goodbye to his sister Michelle Galliers.

The group had waited for the tide to go out before each scattered a pot of Ms Galliers' ashes, but her brother ventured out a little further as he paid his respects.

Despite gale-force winds and rough seas, his brother-in-law attempted to rescue him, but was unsuccessful.

Following a thorough search operation in treacherous conditions, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said Mr Galliers had not been found.

Mr Galliers' mother, Patricia Howells, spoke of her devastation at losing a second child, after Ms Galliers passed away last November.

"It's all a very big shock for all of us. First I lost my daughter and now I have lost my son, it's so difficult to come to terms with," she told The Telegraph.

Jasmine Bird, whose mother's ashes Mr Galliers was scattering, told BBC News: "This is a very personal spot for the family.

"Most members of the family that have passed away are brought here to be scattered.

"My mum and him were incredibly close. They kept each other sane throughout the entirety of their lives."

The family said that while the official search had been called off they, they hoped members of the public would keep their eyes open for Mr Galliers.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: “The search, coordinated by Falmouth Coastguard, for the man who was washed into the sea from the north Cornwall coast has now finished, although sadly no sign has been found of him.

"Coastguard teams from Port Isaac and Boscastle have been carrying out a shoreline search this morning."

On Sunday, Falmouth Coastguard scrambled a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor.

The coastguard rescue teams from Boscastle and Port Isaac carried out a search and a request was made for the Padstow RNLI Lifeboat to launch.

Neil Oliver, Falmouth Coastguard watch manager, last night said that conditions had been unfavourable due to gale force winds and rough seas.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said that officers were called at about 5pm on Sunday to reports that a male had fallen into the sea at Tintagel, North Cornwall.

The spokesman said: "Despite treacherous conditions with gale force winds and heavy seas, two other members of the group that he was with went into the sea in an attempt to rescue him but were unsuccessful.

"The two members of the group who attempted the rescue managed to get ashore safely. The male who was swept into the sea remains missing."

Additional reporting by PA