Weston Colville grandfather drowned trying to save Lara, 5
Grandfather Brian O’Dwyer tried in vain to save his five year old granddaughter Lara Lewis from rough seas off a Portuguese beach, an inquest into both their deaths heard.
Mr O’Dwyer, 66, of Mill Hill, Weston Colville, raced into the fierce waves after little Lara ran into the sea
His wife Jill and their four-year-old grandson watched in horror as the waves consumed them.
“At a certain stage, my granddaughter ran towards the water”, said Mrs O’Dwyer, in a statement to their inquests at North London Coroner’s Court.
“The sea was rough and my granddaughter was taken by the water.
“My husband attempted to rescue her but was unable to and as a result got into difficulties himself.
“I tried to enter the water but was forced back by a wave.
“I looked around for help and waved frantically but I don’t remember anything after that as I must have fainted.”
Mr O’Dwyer, described in court as a chief executive for agriculture, and his granddaughter were caught in the choppy waters of Praia do Salgados beach, in western Portugal, on August 21 last year.
Fisherman Antonio Ribelo raised the alarm after finding the O’Dwyers’ grandson wandering along the beach crying and calling out for his parents.
He saw two bodies in the water and rushed to pluck Lara from the sea whilst a fellow fisherman dragged Mr O’Dwyer onto the sand. There were no signs of life.
Coroner Andrew Walker recorded that both Mr O’Dwyer and Lara of Lower Clapton, East London, died as a result of an accident.
“A short time after 13.30 hours, Brian Gillespie O’Dwyer went into the sea to rescue his granddaughter who had run into the sea, where he drowned” he said.
“Lara Lewis was drowned having run into the sea, and I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that she died as a result of an accident.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Haverhill
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: South west