Hero mum's distraught ex says 'the riptide has just taken her' after she drowned saving their son off Norfolk coast

Hero mum's distraught ex says 'the riptide has just taken her' after she drowned saving their son off Norfolk coast

August 11, 2020

THE distraught ex of a mum who drowned after trying to rescue her son today revealed the "riptide took her".

Danielle Chilvers, 37, leapt into the water to save her 14-year-old son and his pal who had been caught adrift on an inflatable kayak at Waxham, Norfolk.

But tragically while the two boys were saved, the mother-of-two was caught in a suspected riptide on Sunday – with rescuers unable to save her.

Her former partner Kevin Kazer, who is the father of her two sons, today said: "The sea looks flat as a pancake and calm as anything, but a riptide has just taken her.

"None of us are going in the sea any more, that's for sure."

The 45-year-old printer said he had been separated from Ms Chilvers for 10 years but they "always got on really well" and their sons, who he asked not to be named, are now living with him.

"She was a wonderful person," said Mr Kazer. "She liked flowers, she loved gardening, she had an allotment."

He said Danielle loved the sun and going camping, often going on trips to the coast with the boys.

Grieving Kevin said she was "pretty fiery" and "would get things done", adding: "She was just really loving, to be honest.

"She just loved life, all the good things."

He said their sons, aged 17 and 14, were "really upset" – adding their mother would "be missed a lot".

It comes after a witness said they had seen the family having fun together before the two boys got into trouble on the fateful Sunday afternoon.


The witness said online: "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."

And tributes have been paid to the teaching assistant, who was remembered as an "amazing woman".

One wrote: "Everyone in Swaffham knew her, she was tough, kind and funny. Her boys were everything to her."

Another added: "What an amazing woman, (she would) help everyone."

A third added: "(She) always helped me in high school, best teaching assistant there. Was always so nice to everyone."

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

A 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."

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."

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."

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 this weekend 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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