Grieving mum warns others of sea perils

Michael Sheehan, who drowned in the sea in Blackpool in July 2010
Michael Sheehan, who drowned in the sea in Blackpool in July 2010
0
Have your say

A mum whose son drowned while holidaying in Blackpool is using the anniversary of his death to highlight the dangers of the sea.

Michael Sheehan was playing with an inflatable rubber ring in the water near Central Pier when he was swept away by the waves on July 28 2010.

Michael's family and friends  unveiled a plaque on Central Pier in his memory on the first anniversary of his death.

Michael's family and friends unveiled a plaque on Central Pier in his memory on the first anniversary of his death.

The 14-year-old’s body was found around two-and-a-half hours later, close to where he went missing.

Today his mother, Alison Stirzaker, from Northampton, said it was heart-breaking to see people were still losing their lives in coastal waters and rivers, especially during the recent hot spell.

She said: “Today is the sixth year since I lost my twin son to the sea between the lifeboat centre and Central Pier.

“I’m truly devastated to see already at the beginning of this summer holidays so many young lives have already been lost in sea and rivers.

“Although not in Blackpool, I just want to remind parents and teenagers of the dangers of undercurrents and rip tides regardless of how well they can swim or know the area.”

She added the loss of her son was a constant heartache.

He was playing with two of his brothers including his twin Daniel at the time.

Mrs Stirzaker added: “There is always guilt that you couldn’t do more at the time and you couldn’t save him.

“I don’t want other families to go through that.”

Family members are due to visit the resort to mark the anniversary of Michael’s death.

A memorial to him was placed on Central Pier 12 months after the tragedy, but it has since been lost in storms which have lashed the pier.

It is hoped eventually to put a replacement plaque on the sea wall close to where Michael was lost.

Although there have been no lives lost this summer in the sea off Blackpool, there have been deaths elsewhere in the country including an 11-year-old boy who drowned in a canal in Rotherham last week.