Blackpool’s man lost his life trying to save his partner who was in the Irish Sea.
Alex Gibson was out on a night with his friends at Blackpool last Thursday, July 29, 2013.
He spent some time with his girlfriend on the evening but the pair separated when she went to Sapphires nightclub in the resort.
Alex’s girlfriend called Alex from North Pier in the wee hours of Friday morning and said she didn’t want anymore to live.
Alex, 22 years old, raced towards the beachfront to help Alex, despite her inability to swim.
Alex Gibson, 22 years old, drowned while trying to save his girlfriend, who was in serious distress.
Blackpool Town Hall heard today that Alex got out of bed and sought help. Alex was discovered in the water less then an hour later.
Alex first met his wife while working in Foxhall Road at C Fresh Fish and Chips.
Speaking at today’s inquest, she said: ‘We were near the steps [to the right of the pier].
“We were in the same water. Alex was unable to swim and I wanted to assist him.
‘We were hanging on to each other trying to keep each other afloat.
“I realized that there was only one way for us to escape, and that someone needed help. So I said that I would get outside and seek help.
“It took me awhile to swim back, because the current was so strong.
Alex was able to rescue her from the water and she shouted at him, “It would be OK.”
She stated that he was simply trying to survive.
“I can remember him getting further away.” He shouted for help.
Mark Wright said that he was staying in rough conditions at a Promenade shelter and was awakened by Alex’s girlfriend shouting: ‘Alex, I can’t survive without you.
At the inquest Mr Wright testified that he saw Alex “struggling to keep his head above water” but lost track of him when it became dark.
David Langton, who had also been asleep in a shelter, woke up when he heard Mark shouting to him: ‘Get on your phone David there’s someone in the water.’
‘[Alex’s girlfriend]Langton made a statement that Mrs Langton claimed she told him she had sworn to murder herself.
‘She claimed that her friend was unable to swim. He was not visible to me when I attempted to find him.
Lancashire Police’s PC Ryan Kavanagh drove down the Promenade around 4.25 am on Friday, June 30. When he came across Mr Wright at the other side of the road, he pulled over.
Alan Wilson, Senior Coroner said that anyone who’s seen Blackpool’s tide rise fully knows how dangerous it can be. He concluded that the brave young man had tried to save the girl’s life by dying trying to save her.
PC Kavanagh replied, “He asked me whether I was there as there was somebody in the waters.”
“I drove up to the opposite side of the Pier… Below was [Alex’s girlfriend]Near the water’s edge. Her blanket protected her.
“She told me that she was in the water and she did not want to stay there anymore. Her friend followed her rescue efforts.
‘She told me she’d kill herself if Alex was deceased.’
Sean Wright is a lifeboat helmsman who has volunteered for Blackpool RNLI over 25 years and was part of the search for Alex.
The crew spotted Alex’s girlfriend’s white Primark handbag floating in the sea and 15 minutes later, at 5.06am, found Alex’s body face down in the water 200 metres from the shore.
Alex was transported to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where continued resuscitation efforts were made. However, he was declared dead at 6.20 AM.
According to medical records, the cause of death was drowning.
Dillon Dixon knew Alex, a Bradford native for 10 years. The pair shared a home and school together.
The couple had been together for the evening, and Dillon was home by 11pm.
Dillon, unaware that Alex had been just declared deceased, woke up the next morning and text Alex, jokingly, to say that he was alive.
Dillon laughed and said, “We’ve all jokingly snipped similar after a evening out,”
According to the inquest, Dillon had suggested that Alex take swimming lessons with him. The two of them were friends and had ‘went through all together’.
Dillon said that Dillon described Dillon as a “proud vegan” with a “heart of gold.”
“He loved going to Stanley Park for bird feeding.
‘Alex has in the past had many dark thoughts and said he was tired of everything.
‘He was always sad inside but had the biggest smile on his face.’
According to the inquest, Alex was found not guilty of deliberately taking his own life and had suffered self-harm in the weeks leading up to his death.
Alex’s death was due to misadventure, the unintended consequence of an intentional act. Senior Coroner Alan Wilson stated: “Disregarding the welfare of someone who cannot swim, this young boy bravely entered the water and attempted to save a young girl.
“Anyone who’s seen Blackpool’s tide when it was fully in, knows that it is very dangerous.
He was most likely in trouble very quickly. Someone witnessed him trying to get above the waterline. He couldn’t survive.
Alex’s father, Alex, attended the inquest and said that he wanted to put a permanent monument to him near where he drowned.
Alex and his colleagues had raised enough money to put a bench into Stanley Park, he said.
His boss at C Fresh wrote online after Alex’s passing: “Alex was an incredible young man.
‘All his friends would agree that he was intelligent, hardworking, pleasant, caring and literally wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“He is truly a hero. He gave his life to save another.
“He was loved and missed by his colleagues at work.
Tragically taken 22. All his loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers.
A GoFundMe set up after Alex’s death raised £6,303 to help pay for funeral costs.
Call the Samaritans at 116123 for confidential assistance, or visit www.samaritans.org.