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Mum drowned on beach on night out

SCENE: The beach at Morecambe was cordoned off following the discovery of Susan Alstons body

SCENE: The beach at Morecambe was cordoned off following the discovery of Susan Alstons body

A devoted mother-of-one collapsed and drowned in shallow water after going for a moonlight swim in the sea following a night out.

Susan Alston, 51, had a 12-year-old son and was due to go on holiday the following week, an inquest heard.

She was found dead on the beach near the clock tower in Morecambe by a man cycling to work on the promenade at 5.35am on August 10.

The inquest heard Susan, of Shaw Street, Lancaster, had met with a friend, Ann Hindmarsh, for a night out in local pubs.

Mrs Hindmarsh said her pal had been “happy and enjoying herself.”

She said: “I decided I wanted to go home and I asked her if she wanted to come but she didn’t want to go.”

Det Supt Neil Esseen, who investigated Susan’s death, told the coroner he could not explain why Susan went on the beach. He said: “There was no indication of suicide, she was due to go on holiday the week after her death and was devoted to her son. She must have gone into the water very close to high tide, which was at 1.50am.

“She collapsed for some reason and drowned in a relatively small amount of water.”

Deputy Coroner Simon Jones recorded a verdict of accidental death by drowning. He said: “Susan had had a considerable amount to drink, nine or 10 whiskies over the course of the evening.

“What we don’t know is why she did what she did.

“She was seen sitting on the promenade and that is the last time she is seen alive.

“She has then made her way onto the beach, quite possibly with the intention of going for a swim by moonlight and she has then collapsed due to some sort of medical event.

“It is probable that alcohol has played its part.

“She was only there for a comparatively short period and the tide is low but this was sufficient to cause her to drown.”

 

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