Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'They Need to Realise Water, No Matter How Deep It Is, Is Dangerous and They Can't Take It for Granted' Grieving Mother Backs Campaign to Save Lives

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'They Need to Realise Water, No Matter How Deep It Is, Is Dangerous and They Can't Take It for Granted' Grieving Mother Backs Campaign to Save Lives

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Meechan Reporter simon.meechan@trinitymirror.com @SimonMeechan_90

THE mother of a teenage girl who died after being swept into the North Sea in January is appealing for parents to make sure their kids know to take extra care when walking or playing around the sea.

Caitlin Ruddy, 15, was dragged out by a huge wave as she walked along Cullercoats Pier on January 16. She died later in hospital despite a rescue attempt by Cullercoats' RNLI crew.

Her mum, Sabrina Cook, is backing the RNLI's Respect the Water campaign, as the lifeboat charity revealed 22 people lost their lives by the coast in the North East last year.

Almost half of the 122 killed in coastal fatalities between 2011 and 2014 were not planning on getting in the water. Many, like Caitlin, were simply walking or running near the sea and were dragged in by large waves.

Speaking at Cullercoats Lifeboat Station, just yards away from where Caitlin was walking, Sabrina said: "They need to think what they actually want to do, and think before they're wanting to go out in the sea, or doing daft stuff like jumping off piers. They need to realise water, no matter how deep it is, is dangerous and they can't take the water for granted."

"I believe their parents tell them but I don't think they initially under-stand that their parents are telling them for their own good. I would just like their parents to keep drumming into their heads so they do have a thorough understanding of how dangerous and how quick the sea can take a life away."

Caitlin, a student at Newcastle College, lived in Newbiggin Hall in Newcastle. Stepfather Ashley reckons parents who do not live by the coast are less likely to warn their kids about the dangers.

He said: "I think they understand how dangerous water can be, I just think because they never see it they don't understand it as much. …

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