News Hero mum, 37, drowned after jumping into sea to...

Hero mum, 37, drowned after jumping into sea to rescue son and his pal swept away in inflatable canoe off Norfolk coast


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A HERO mum drowned after jumping into the sea to rescue her son who got into trouble using an inflatable canoe.

The woman, named locally as Danielle Chilvers, 37, leapt in to save the youngster and a pal caught up in strong tides at Waxham, Norfolk.

East Anglia News Service

Danielle Chilvers, 37, leapt into the sea to rescue her son and his friend who got into difficulty[/caption]

HM Coastguard Bacton/Facebook

The woman was pulled lifeless from the water after a helicopter landed on the beach [/caption]

Stalham and Smallburgh First Responders/East Anglia News Service

Emergency services were scrambled to try to rescue her[/caption]


Coastguard crews, paramedics and a rescue helicopter were called to Waxham beach in Norfolk on Sunday[/caption]

Holidaymakers pulled the mum, believed to be from Swaffham, and the youngsters from the sea on Sunday afternoon.

One witness posted online: “I saw them having fun and then get in trouble.

“Two heroes went in and saved the boys but she also went in.

“Two ladies were there and they started giving CPR with a coastguard.

“The paramedics took over for about an hour.”

The boys in the canoe were brought safely back to shore by other holidaymakers.

Teacher Danielle had been staying at a nearby campsite with her son, believed to be 14-years-old.

One former pupil wrote: “So sad to hear about my friend.


“What an amazing woman. She helped everyone, especially my daughter. Always there for everyone.

“We will miss you. Rest in peace.”

Flowers were placed in her memory at the bottom of the seawall on the beach.

Tony Garbutt, of HM Coastguard, told ITV Anglia: “It’s a classic case of the rescuer coming into the dilemma.

“This started off with a child playing on an inflatable canoe who got into difficulties.


“Another person went out to assist, followed then by the mother and unfortunately it was the mother that came into danger, and it happens time and time again.

“It’s difficult to try and criticise because as a parent myself you can’t stand by and watch your children be in danger and not do anything.”

Did you see what happened, or do you know the people involved? Please call 0207 782 4368 or email [email protected]

Campsite manager Kyle Reeve described her death as “an absolute tragedy”.

He said: “This whole coastline is notorious for rip tides. We have signs up at the beach entrances warning of the risk.

“The water moves at huge speed through gaps when channels appear between sandbanks. Most professional swimmers cannot out swim them.”

A witness said in a social media post: “We were there. It was horrific to watch. She wanted to save the two boys who had lost control of a sea kayak.

“She was next to me in the water, then went in head on (and) was caught in the rip.

“I feel for the children and family who watched it all happen. We are traumatised ourselves, let alone the family.”

Another Facebook post said: “So unfortunate for Dani, bless her heart for trying to save her boy.”

A witness posted on Facebook that the woman’s son had been left “utterly devastated”.

She posted: “I saw them having fun on the kayak and then saw them get in trouble so called the coastguard.

“Two heroes went in and saved the boys, but she also went in and was bought by someone called Finn with a surfboard. Absolute hero!

“Two ladies were there also and they all started giving CPR with a coastguard. Then the paramedics took over for about an hour.”


The witness said she and another beach-goer cuddled the boys and other girls from the same group on the beach “for what seemed like an eternity.”

She added: “Poor lads were watching the whole thing and will be traumatised for life.

“I’m utterly devastated for them all and want to help as much as I can.

“I never thought I’d see anything like that. Saw it from beginning to end.

“My friend who is a strong swimmer was in the EXACT same spot and managed to get out because she is a super strong swimmer.”

The beach and nearby Sea Palling are notorious for having dangerous riptides which can sweep away unsuspecting swimmers.

Coastguard teams, ambulances, local paramedics and a rescue helicopter were sent to the scene after “multiple calls” about people in the water who needed rescuing.

It comes after a man’s body was pulled from Bawsey Pits Country Park near King’s Lynn in Norfolk yesterday after he got into difficulty in the water.

Children and sunseekers watched from the shore as the massive search and rescue operation was launched – but the man was tragically pronounced dead.

The coastguard revealed today that it recorded its highest number of call-outs in a single day yesterday for more than four years.

Its teams dealt with 340 incidents and rescued 146 people on Saturday as scorching temperatures saw Brits flock to beaches up and down the country.


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