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Mum’s anguish undimmed over son’s sea death

Anne-Marie Sagar on the lower walk at Blackpool promenade, where her son David died.

Anne-Marie Sagar on the lower walk at Blackpool promenade, where her son David died.

Lifeboat bosses have urged people to stay safe when they visit the beach in the coming weeks - two years on from the tragic death of a teenager at sea.

David Sagar, 17, was walking along the sea wall opposite Gynn Square on March 30, 2012, when he fell backwards into the water and hit his head.

The teenager, from Lewtas Street, North Shore, died despite the best efforts of the town’s lifeboat crew to get him out of the water and take him back to dry land.

His mother, Anne-Marie, 36, worked with The Gazette in the wake of her son’s death to launch the Think Sea Safety campaign, and raise awareness of the danger the sea can possess.

She regularly visits the scene where David, a former Bispham High School pupil, fell and says she has been encouraged by what is being done to keep people safe.

She said: “It makes it a bit more poignant because the last thing you want to be thinking about on Mother’s Day is losing your child.

“I’m trying to keep busy and not to think about it too much.

“When I do think I get upset.

“I’ve been going on a lot of long walks along the Promenade recently to contemplate things about what happened, and have seen some changes which make me happy and sad.

“What makes me happy is to see there are a lot of life rings there on Lower Walk.

“I’m happy because there are some changes in place now, but sad that this had to happen to my son.”

Ms Sagar, who lives in Blackpool with her 17-year-old daughter, Alicia, teaches English at Blackpool and The Fylde College, and says she is undecided how she will remember her son during tomorrow’s anniversary.

She added: “I’m lucky I have got a really good team at work that are really supportive and helpful.

“Alicia is thinking about going into teaching and is through to the final of Miss Fylde Coast.”

Paul Parton, a launch authority for Blackpool Lifeboat, said people must respect the sea as the weather begins to get warmer.

He added: “I see what The Gazette has done and that has to be applauded because the only way to overcome people dying in the sea is education.

“It’s an ongoing process because you can’t stop them going in to the water.

“People are educated on road safety from an early age, and this needs to be done for sea safety.”

He said: “We always try to emphasise how dangerous the sea is and it’s good to re-iterate the warning about this.

“The weather is starting to warm up and people think it’s nice for a dip, but the sea hasn’t warmed up.

“It might look inviting, but we would advise people not to go into the water because it’s a very dangerous place and not the time for swimming.”

Mr Parton also called for youngsters to be educated earlier on sea safety.

He added: “I see what The Gazette has done and that has to be applauded because the only way to overcome people dying in the sea is education.

“It’s an ongoing process because you can’t stop them going in to the water.

“People are educated on road safety from an early age, and this needs to be done for sea safety.”

 

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