Woman Drowns in North Scotland Saving Son

portobello beach 6The wife of a GP has died after getting into difficulty while swimming off a beach as she holidayed with her family in the Western Isles.

Rosemary Wickstead, 45, was named yesterday as the victim of Monday evening’s tragedy at Borve on Harris.

She got into trouble while swimming with her husband Dr David Wickstead and their three sons at around 7.40pm on Monday.

It was reported she may have died while trying to rescue her son, and was pulled from the water by her family.

The waters to the south of Harris have dangerous rip tides and currents.

Dr Wickstead, who is based at The Corner Surgery in London, attempted to resuscitate his wife at the scene while a local resident raised the alarm with the Stornoway Coastguard.

Mrs Wickstead, of Herne Hill, south-east London, who failed to regain consciousness, was subsequently airlifted her from Traigh Mhor and flown 40 miles to Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway where she died.

Dr Wickstead and two of his sons were also taken to hospital by ambulance but did not require treatment. They were later released.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “At approximately 8.05pm police received a report from HM Coastguard in relation to a maritime incident at Borve beach on the Isle of Harris.

“A woman was flown to the Western Isles Hospital where she sadly died.”

One local resident said: “There were a lot of people around including coastguard volunteers.

“This is the first time I think I can remember a drowning on that beach.”

Although incidents like these are relatively unprecedented near this beauty spot, Water Safety Map would like to ask that all visitors to the beaches around the Isle of Harris remain vigilant when swimming, particularly in the company of minors.

More information: http://www.watersafetymap.co.uk/map/details/196

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