A MUM who lost her son in a boat accident has raised more than £6,000 for Portsmouth’s lifeboat crews.
Ann Beach was left devastated when her 33-year-old son Patrick fell off a motor cruiser near the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour last summer. His head struck the boat’s propeller and left him with fatal injuries. He died hours later at hospital in Southampton.
Since then, the 56-year-old vowed to raise as much money as possible for the lifeboat crews who were first to come to Patrick’s aid.
And to raise the latest cash boost of more than £6,000, Ann, who lives in Middlesex, held a horse-drawn drive.
After a blessing and ceremony on the anniversary of his death, 22 horse-drawn carriages left the cemetery where Patrick is buried in Stanmore and drove to Old Windsor.
‘It was a very emotional day,’ Ann said.
‘I want to do it again next year but not on his anniversary – that was just too hard.
But it meant a lot to me to know I was helping the RNLI and helping people at sea.
‘You don’t realise how incredible what they do is until you need their help.
‘If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have had a chance to cradle my son before he passed away so they are very close to my heart.’
Patrick was a keen horse-racing enthusiast and he had his own horse which he entered into races.
As well as continuing to raise funds for Portsmouth RNLI, Ann also wants to raise awareness of safety at sea.
Through her campaign, she is urging the government to change safety laws so that it is compulsory to have a cage around propellers.
She added: ‘I’ve seen so many articles about accidents like Patrick’s since he passed away.
‘I don’t think people realise just how dangerous it is not to have a cages on propellers.
‘I want to do everything I can to raise awareness of that and hopefully get MPs to change the law and make it illegal not to have one.’