Mum’s cash pledge to Portsmouth RNLI after boat tragedy

TRAGEDY Patrick Beach
TRAGEDY Patrick Beach

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A DEVASTATED mum has pledged to raise as much money for Portsmouth’s lifeboat crews as she can after the death of her son in a tragic boating accident.

Patrick Beach, 33, fell off a motor cruiser near the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour in July last year.

His head struck the boat’s propeller and left him with fatal injuries.

He was taken to hospital in Southampton on the afternoon of July 3, where he died hours later.

Now his mum Ann wants to raise as much money as she can for the lifeboat crews who came to his aid.

The 55-year-old, who lives in Surrey, held a fundraising walk and a raffle which raised around £650 for Portsmouth’s RNLI station, in Ferry Road, Eastney.

Crews from the station arrived at the scene along with the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service and Portsea Rescue.

Ann said: ‘It’s thanks to them I got to spend the final hours with my son.

‘I found out they were the first ones on the scene that day and I wanted to help them.

‘His two cousins, who were on the boat with him, dived straight in after him.

‘If they hadn’t got him out of the water as quickly as they did he might not have survived long enough for me to make it to the hospital.

‘So I will be raising money for them from now on and sending it down.

‘I also want to raise awareness of safety on the sea because I don’t think people are as aware of the dangers as they should be.’

At Patrick’s home town in Surrey, friends have started a boxing club in his memory.

They hope to raise more money for the lifeboat crews at the club’s opening.

When he was 23, Patrick was attacked at a party which left him with a blood clot on his brain.

He was in danger of suffering brain damage or paralysis but pulled through after hours of surgery.

His mum Ann added: ‘After that I always thought there was someone up there looking after him.

‘So for this to happen, there just aren’t any words.

‘We were absolutely devastated by his death.

‘I wrote letters to the emergency services thanking them for being there for Patrick.

‘If it wasn’t for these people who give their time voluntarily in dangerous situations the sea would be even less safe.’

Patrick was a keen horse-racing enthusiast and he had his own horse which he entered into races.

Aaron Gent, from Portsmouth’s RNLI station, said: ‘We did everything we could but unfortunately he didn’t make it.

‘We are very grateful that Ann has chosen to take the time to raise awareness of the crews and sea safety.’