Beach death: medics battled to save Sidmouth gran

PUBLISHED: 18:31 30 July 2010

EMERGENCY services battled in vain to save a woman pulled semi-conscious from the sea by beach-goers in Sidmouth on Saturday.

Kathleen Mitchell, a 68-year-old grandmother from the town, died near Jacob’s Ladder after passers-by discovered her in the water and rushed to her aid at around 4.45pm. Shocked family members this week labelled her death as untimely and tragic. Grieving relatives described Mrs Mitchell as a beloved wife, mother and grandmother, saying she will be sadly missed. Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.

Officers, Sidmouth Lifeboat, Beer Coastguard and the air ambulance were scrambled to the incident.

The Ambulance Service revealed this week that paramedics tried to resuscitate Mrs Mitchell at the scene. A spokesman said: “Crews attended the western end of the beach following reports of woman being pulled from the sea. She was in a semi-conscious state. The patient was treated, but died at the scene.”

A police spokesman said passers-by pulled a person from the water, adding: “Officers were called to the scene by ambulance control at around 5pm. She was unconscious and was deceased when officers arrived. Officers went to her address to inform her family.”

He added no-one witnessed how Mrs Mitchell ended up in the water. It is understood she was fully clothed and personal belongings were found on the beach.

Sidmouth’s lifeboat crew helped the Ambulance Service recover the casualty and took the body to their Esplanade headquarters on behalf of the police and coroner.

Crew members went ashore with a stretcher, but attempts to resuscitate Mrs Mitchell failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A statement from the Mitchell family yesterday said: “It is with deep shock and sadness that we confirm the death of a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

“Her death was unexpected and untimely, therefore the family politely requests that their privacy is respected as they come to terms with such a tragic personal loss.”

An inquest was opened and adjourned on Wednesday, pending further enquiries.


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