Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I Saw Giant Wave Sweep My Friends to Their Deaths'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I Saw Giant Wave Sweep My Friends to Their Deaths'

Article excerpt


A TEENAGER told today how his two friends were swept away by a freak wave during a storm.

Richard Lawrence went to watch the big waves coming into Lulworth Cove in Dorset with Matthew Myburgh and Charlie Morrell on a stormy evening.

But the other two were swept to their deaths when a large wave covered them and washed them into the water.

Richard's statement was read out at an inquest today into the deaths of Matthew, 16, and Charlie, 15.

Describing the events leading to the tragedy, he said the boys had climbed down the rocks to face the open sea at the mouth of the cove.

Richard said it was windy, the sea was extremely choppy and the sky was clear. He added: "Apart from spray, the waves weren't reaching us, so I felt safe and wasn't really worried.

"I hadn't been there in such windy, wavy conditions. This was the roughest I had seen it from this point and I found it quite exciting."

Richard, 15, from West Lulworth, said that at 7pm he felt it was time to leave.

"I decided I wanted to go because I was freezing cold and soaking wet. I said, 'Let's go,' but they wanted to stay. I climbed a short distance up the ledge.

"Suddenly I became aware of a very large wave which washed onto the ledge below me and covered Mat and Charlie.

"When the wave cleared I couldn't see Mat or Charlie but realised it must have washed them off. The wave didn't reach me because I was slightly higher up the rocks.

"I climbed down onto the ledge where Mat and Charlie had been to try and find them.

"All the time the waves were coming up around my waist and I was being covered in spray but I couldn't see or hear Mat or Charlie.

"Another wave washed over me and pulled me in. The waves began to wash me back in. As I neared the rocks another large wave washed over me and took me straight into the cove. …

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