St Martin’s Residents Saddened By Drowning

View towards Great Bay, St Martin's

St Martin’s residents say they’re saddened by the drowning of a visitor yesterday.

The tragedy happened just after 11.00am yesterday in the middle of Great Bay.

Local youngsters raised the alarm when they saw a body of the woman in her 60s floating in the water. The RNAS Culdrose helicopter and St Mary’s lifeboat, The Whiteheads, were both sent to the scene after Falmouth coastguard was alerted.

Chris Thomas, the Lifeboat Launch Authority, said the crew was in a hurry to get to there because initial reports were that there were three children in difficulty in the water. But because of the extremely low tide, the boat had to go around the island the long way.

A holidaying eye surgeon tried to help at the scene and over a dozen coastguards and first responders from St Martin’s and ambulance staff all arrived quickly but their efforts in trying to revive the woman were in vain.

The visitor, who is from Scotland, had just begun a holiday with her husband and was staying at a St Mary’s guesthouse.

She is said to have been a strong swimmer. Her husband told locals he’d normally swim with her but was on the beach reading yesterday when the tragedy struck.

One responder told us yesterday that islanders just don’t expect deaths in the water but particularly when the weather is good and there is a really low tide.

Devon and Cornwall police confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances and the file has been prepared for the coroner. As next of kin were on holiday with the lady who died, her family has been informed.