Remembering victims of 1983 Blackpool sea tragedy

PCs Angela Bradley, Gordon Connolly, and Colin Morrison
PCs Angela Bradley, Gordon Connolly, and Colin Morrison
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The people of Blackpool bowed their heads in respect today as tributes were paid to three police officers and one civilian who tragically drowned off the coast 35 years ago.

Police constables Angela Bradley, 24, Gordon Alexander Connolly, 23, and Colin Morrison, 38, and Scottish holidaymaker Alistair Anthony, 25, lost their lives on January 5, 1983.

PCs Bradley and Connolly had gone into the sea in an attempt to rescue Mr Anthony, who was trying to save his Jack Russell dog.

PC Morrison, a road traffic officer, stopped his car to help, but he too was swept away.

A fourth officer, PC Pat Abram, was rescued by colleagues who were able to throw a rope around his neck and pull him to shore. He was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the prom.

The families of the victims were joined by officers Lancashire police and the other emergency services this morning at Gynn Square, where a memorial was held in honour of their bravery.

Assistant chief constable Tim Jacques said: “This was a tragic day for Lancashire Constabulary – one which we will never forget.

“The officers carried out the ultimate act of bravery, trying to save a man that they did not know. It was a most selfless act, which resulted in them sacrificing their lives.

“It is poignant that we remember them, and of course Alistair Anthony, 35 years on from this dark day. We are extremely proud of their brave actions and we will continue to remember them.”

Other police officers took to social media to express their sadness and pay respects.

Assistant chief constable Terry Woods tweeted: “The lowest moment in Lancs Police history when we lost three of our officers who drowned in the sea in Blackpool trying to save life in 1983.”

He added: “We will never stop honouring them”