Tragedy boy was on psychiatric unit trip
A 17-year-old boy who died trying to save a friend after they were caught by a rip current and swept out to sea was on an outing from a psychiatric unit, it was revealed today.
James Samuel Willis, originally from Stockton but now based in the Gosforth area, and two 16-year-old girls were believed to have been using an inflatable dinghy when they got into difficulty in Whitby, North Yorkshire, yesterday.
They were on an adult-supervised trip from St Nicholas Hospital in Gosforth, Newcastle, which is a medium secure psychiatric unit for youths.
It is run by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, where a spokesman said staff were "devastated".
The unit cares for 14 to 17-year-olds who have either come into contact with the law as a result of their mental health issues, or are a risk to themselves or others.
The spokesman said: "We are all shocked and devastated by the news.
"We have spoken to his family to offer our sincerest condolences at this difficult time.
"We are fully co-operating with North Yorkshire Police to assist them in their investigation."
The group got into difficulty near Whitby's West Pier just before 1pm yesterday.
The 17-year-old had managed to clamber up a ladder on the wall but went back to help one of his friends and was hit by a number of waves.
He was pulled from the water unconscious and was flown to Scarborough District Hospital where efforts to revive him failed.
The girls escaped with minor injuries and were discharged from hospital later.
At inquest into the teenager's death is expected to be opened and adjourned tomorrow.
North Yorkshire Police launched an investigation and witnesses were asked to call 0845 606 0247.
Katie Gellatly, Humber Coastguard watch officer, said: "This incident reminds us all of the hidden dangers present when swimming at the beach, and we would urge all members of the public visiting the coast to use lifeguarded beaches where possible, and take note of any signs or flags that show which areas are safe to bathe in."
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hull based charity providing except...
£9464 - £10396 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will ne...
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...