‘Shocked’ - Visitors to Waxham beach react to woman’s death
PUBLISHED: 21:11 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 11 August 2020
Not many people were swimming at a beach the day after a woman died after getting into difficulties in the sea.
Conditions were rough at Waxham beach on Monday (August 10) while groups of families sat on the sand and some children paddled in the shallow surf, watched by their parents.
On Sunday evening (August 9), emergency services had been called to reports of a woman struggling in the water.
The woman, who was in her 30s and has been named locally as Danielle Chilvers, was recovered but pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
News of the death was a “shock” to people visiting the beach on Monday (August 10).
One man from Norwich, who was visiting the beach with his wife and two children, said he had learned of the death while at a shop in neighbouring Sea Palling.
“It makes you aware of the dangers,” he said.
His wife said their children had wanted to get inflatables but were advised not to by a woman working at the shop.
“People don’t realise the current is so strong,” she said.
“The kids wanted to get [an inflatable] and I had already said no.
“The woman at the shop said it was not worth it.”
Another man, also from Norwich, said he regularly swims at Waxham beach and went swimming there on Monday but that conditions were rough.
He wouldn’t go into the water if he judged the conditions to be beyond his capabilities, he said.
At Sea Palling, the beach, which is watched by lifeguards, was busy and many people were taking to the water.
John Hebblethwaite, 50, from Cambridgeshire, had been swimming but he said he has learned to be “wary” of the water after spending a few years in Australia where he would learned surfing.
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“You’ve got be respectful of the sea,” he said.
Stephen Fitzgerald, 58, from Lingwood, said what happened at Waxham was “terrible”.
On its Facebook page, Waxham Sands Holiday Park pleaded with visitors to the area to keep safe when in the sea.
“Check for rip tides and keep your children near to the shore line and if in an inflatable attach a rope or string so you can rescue them safely.
Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if in danger or if you see any body in trouble even if you are not sure, ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’.”
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