Dad tells inquest of search for daughter

A father told yesterday of the harrowing search for his 10-year-old daughter who drowned after “wave-hopping” in the North Sea off Lowestoft.

A father told yesterday of

the harrowing search for his 10-year-old daughter who drowned after “wave-hopping” in the North Sea off Lowestoft.

Katie Taylor-Boggis had been enjoying a day at the beach with her father Raymond Boggis, her brother Jack, nine, and friend Carmel before disappearing beneath a wave and being swept to her death, an inquest at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court heard.

A major air, sea and land search was launched, but Katie, of Britten Road, Lowestoft, was found about


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an hour later and was pronounced dead in hospital despite efforts to revive her.

In a statement, Mr Boggis said he had taken the children to the Claremont Pier area of Lowestoft beach at about 2.30pm on Saturday, July 14. It was warm day and the youngsters went into the sea while Mr Boggis stayed on shore.

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He said: “Twenty-five minutes went by and I noticed a group of young men come out of the sea. I looked for my three, but could not see them at first.

“I then saw Jack running out of the water and he was saying he could not see Kate. I saw Carmel looking into the sea and I looked with her,

but could not see Kate

either.

“I started shouting for help and sent Jack to find the lifeguards. I believed she was still in the water and became frantic and started to panic.”

In the meantime Katie's mother Diane Taylor had

been contacted at her workplace and was brought to the scene.

Katie, a pupil at Elm Tree Middle School, in Lowestoft, was found by a rescue helicopter near the Gulliver wind turbine and Birds Eye factory.

The inquest heard how friends Rachel Reeve and Carly Folgate, both aged in their early 20s, dived into

the sea to try to find Katie.

Ms Reeve said: “I saw a little boy run out of the sea. He was out of breath and shouted 'she's lost Dad'. Carmel was looking into the sea and crying, saying her friend was in the water.

“Carly and I went into the sea shouting for Katie. I am a strong swimmer but the current was slowing us down. We then went back along the beach to ask if anyone had seen Katie.

“I comforted Carmel and she sat on my lap and said they had been 'wave-hopping' and got out of their depth. She

had seen Katie go under a wave.”

Lifeguard Mark Armitage, who searched for Katie with his colleagues, said the weather was warm and sunny, with a gentle breeze.

“The conditions meant the sea was considered safe to swim in,” he said. “I cannot see how we could have done anything differently. We did all we could do.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “Clearly what took place that day was a very tragic accident. The loss of Katie Taylor-Boggis really emphasises the potential hazards of the sea even if it appears to be safe.”

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