Coroner Calls Birmingham Friends' Drowning In Spain 'A Tragedy'
4 April 2016, 15:13 | Updated: 4 April 2016, 16:29
A coroner has called the deaths of two women from Birmingham who drowned on holiday in Spain - 'a tragedy'.
32-year-old Tracey Aston was swept away by a strong current after going for a late night swim in Lloret de Mar.
Her friend 35-year-old Lisa Coggins, died trying to save her.
Birmingham Coroner's Court was told the group had decided to take a walk along the beach after leaving the Londoner nightclub at around 2.30am.
One of the group, Grazia Sassano, told the court in a statement the women has been speaking for about five minutes about "how nice the holiday had been''.
Italia Sassano, who was also on the holiday, told the court Tracey and Joanne Worth, another member of the group, "ran down into the sea''.
In a statement, she said: "They both ran a few steps into the sea when they both fell down and couldn't seem to regain their footing.
"A few waves came along. I could now see there was something very wrong as none of them were getting up.
"Suddenly out of nowhere a rather large wave came and pushed Joanne forward towards the shore where I was able to grab her.
"As the wave went out it took Tracey backwards and under when I then lost sight of her."
Other members of the group asked a bartender for help and urged him to call the emergency services.
Italia Sassano continued: "Lisa came down to see what was going on.
"Lisa started to shout to Tracey and entered the water. Suddenly, Lisa was pulled down to the ground by a little wave that wasn't any higher than her calves. She went under.''
Tracey continued her efforts to swim back to shore but was advised by the bartender to not try and swim against the current.
Lifeguards arrived at the beach and threw buoys in Tracey's direction, the court was told.
Describing the tragic moment, Italia Sassano said: ``Tracey held on to the buoy then a big wave came and I saw her slip off the buoy and tread water for about 20 seconds until she went under.''
Tina Tysall, Tracey's mother, told the court: "She was just a lovely girl.
"Every photo we have of Tracey is by a beach, she absolutely loved the water. She loved being near it, she loved the sound of it, she just loved life.''
Recording a conclusion of accidental death due to asphyxia for the two women, both of Birmingham, head coroner Louise Hunt said the deaths were an "awful tragedy".
She added "This is just an absolute tragedy when a young woman went with friends into the sea and was just not able to judge how rough the sea was in such a shallow part of the bay."
Speaking after the inquest, Ms Tysall said: "That fateful night five young women were out enjoying their holiday. Our beautiful 32-year-old daughter Tracey's first ever girlie holiday abroad with her friends.
"It was a four-day break that Tracey was looking forward to very much before she was to return home to her husband, two beautiful sons and the rest of her adoring family.
"This was never to happen. Our girl lost her life that night as did her friend Lisa. What started as a playful run on the beach, taking photos, creating memories of their time together ended in a terrible, devastating tragedy.
"This heart-breaking tragedy has resulted in two very young boys losing their mum, their world."