A mother who drowned in front of her son and his friend after leaping into the sea to save them is among four people to die at beauty spots in Britain over the past week.
The woman, named locally as Danielle Chilvers, 37, was pulled lifeless from the water after being caught out by the strong current at Waxham, Norfolk on Sunday.
Horrified onlookers tried in vain to resuscitate her before paramedics took over, but she was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
The tragedy took place at about 5.30pm, while the beach was packed with sun-lovers on one of the hottest days of the year.
Ms Chilvers is one of at least four Britons to have died in accidents amid sweltering temperatures over the past week, after a 12-year-old schoolgirl was found dead in a Scottish river on Sunday.
Elsewhere, a man in his 60s was pulled from the water at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex at around 10.30am on Monday.
In another tragedy, mother Jane Walker, 52, died in a crash between a jet ski and a boat on the Menai Strait in North Wales on Saturday.
Among those to lose their life was Ms Chilvers, who rushed into the sea in Norfolk on Sunday after her 14-year-old son and his friend got into difficulty in a kayak.
Emergency services including Coastguard teams, ambulances, local paramedics and a rescue helicopter were sent to the scene after HM Coastguard received ‘multiple calls’ about several people in the water who needed rescuing.
The mother was pulled from the sea and the boys in the kayak were brought safely back to shore by other holidaymakers who were described as ‘heroes’ by witnesses.
Her death has been confirmed by Norfolk Police, though they haven’t committed on the circumstances.
The manager of Poplar Farm campsite, where it is believed Ms Chilvers was staying with her son, described the mother’s death as ‘an absolute tragedy’.
Kyle Reeve said: ‘This whole coastline is notorious for rip tides. We have signs up at the beach entrances warning of the risk.
‘The water moves at huge speed through gaps when channels appear between sandbanks. Most professional swimmers cannot out swim them.’
Another witness said: ‘We were there. It was horrific to watch. She wanted to save the two boys who had lost control of a sea kayak. She was next to me in the water, then went in head on [and] was caught in the rip.
‘I feel for the children and family who watched it all happen. We are traumatised ourselves, let alone the family. Wish there was some kind of life guard on the beaches at Waxham. It took too long for them to respond from Sea Palling.’
A third onlooker posted on Facebook that the woman’s son had been let ‘utterly devastated’.
She said: ‘I saw them having fun on the kayak and then saw them get in trouble so called the coastguard.
‘Two heroes went in and saved the boys, but she also went in and was bought by someone called Finn with a surfboard. Absolute hero!
‘Two ladies were there also and they all started giving CPR with a coastguard. Then the paramedics took over for about an hour.’
The woman said she and another beach-goer looked after the boys and other girls from the same group on the beach ‘for what seemed like an eternity.’
She added: ‘Poor lads were watching the whole thing and will be traumatised for life. I’m utterly devastated for them all and want to help as much as I can.
‘I never thought I’d see anything like that. Saw it from beginning to end. My friend who is a strong swimmer was in the exact same spot and managed to get out because she is a super strong swimmer.’
A Norfolk Police spokesperson said: ‘Investigations are continuing after a woman died after getting into difficulties at Waxham on Sunday.
‘Emergency services were called at around 5:30pm following reports of a woman struggling while in the sea.’
The tragedy came after Ava Gray, 12, died after getting into difficulty in a river in Scotland on Sunday.
Her body was pulled from the River Leven in the West Dunbartonshire village of Balloch following a three-hour search.
Police Scotland officers were called to the scene at the foot of Loch Lomond at about 6.45pm, but the search ended with Ava’s body being recovered from the water at 9.45pm.
Her dance teacher Holly Douglas paid tribute to Ava on Facebook, saying: ‘My dancing angel, I am heartbroken.
‘Words can’t describe the way I feel, Ava. We all love you so, so much. You will never be forgotten at Full Out.
‘You will always be part of our team and our family. The world is a cruel place, thinking of all the family right now. Ava, I love you so, so much.’
Elsewhere, a man in his 60s was killed amid sweltering temperatures on Monday. His body was pulled from the water at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex at around 10.30am and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a fourth tragedy, mother Jane Walker died in a crash between a jet ski and a boat on the Menai Strait in North Wales on Saturday.