A heartbroken mother who saw her best friend drown after jumping into the sea to save her son said this was the “worst thing ever.”
Marie Lloyd watched horror from the beach in Waxham after the brave Danielle Chilvers, 37, from Swaffham, Norfolk, jumped into the water after her youngest boy got into trouble in a kayak.
It is thought that Danielle, known to her friends as Dani, gained momentum, and despite rescuers taking her to shore, she was pronounced dead in hospital.
Marie has now launched a GoFundMe fundraising page to help take care of Dani’s two sons, both teenagers, who were her “absolutely everything.”
Danielle Chilvers, 37, from Swaffham, Norfolk, photo, died after jumping into the water after her youngest boy got into trouble in a kayak
Marie Lloyd, left, who had been friends with Dani for 13 years, said witnessing the tragic accident was ‘the worst thing ever’
Marie said to FEMAIL, “I was with Dani on the day of the accident. It was the worst ever.
‘I never thought I would do this, I’m devastated. She was a wonderful person and will be missed by so many people. She loved her two boys, they were everything to her. ‘
Marie shared how she met Dani about 13 years ago, when their oldest children started the reception at school.
“We clicked right away, I knew we were going to be friends,” she recalls. Dani worked at the local high school, which she had done for about 11 years.
Marie has now launched a GoFundMe fundraising page to help provide for Dani’s two sons, both teens, who were her ‘absolutely everything’
She was happy to help the kids do their best and would do much more than expected to get the best results. All the children thought of her. She was always smiling and so approachable. ‘
Marie said Dani loved the summer, especially camping and going to the beach.
The tragedy took place at about 5:30 pm, while the beach was packed with sun worshipers on one of the hottest days of the year.
When her 14-year-old son and his friend got into trouble in a kayak, Dani rushed into the sea.
Marie said Dani loved the summer, especially camping and going to the beach. The tragedy took place at about 5:30 pm, while the beach was packed with sun worshipers on one of the hottest days of the year
Dani was pulled lifeless from the water after being caught by the strong current at Waxham, Norfolk on August 9
Marie said, “Dani did what all of us parents would have done; her boy was in trouble, she was going to help. But Dani got caught in a power surge and left just like that. ‘
Emergency services including coast guard 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 needing rescues.
Dani was taken out of the sea and the boys in the kayak were taken back to shore safely by other vacationers who were described by witnesses as ‘heroes’.
Shocked onlookers unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate Dani before the paramedics took over, but it was too late.
The manager of camping Poplar Farm, where Dani stayed, described the mother’s death as “an absolute tragedy.”
Marie, pictured with Dani and friends, said the brave mother was “a remarkable woman, loved by all.” She added: ‘Dani would help everyone, she was so happy with life, loved her job and her kids were absolutely everything to her.’
Kyle Reeve said, “This entire coastline is notorious for the tide. We have signs at the beach entrances warning of the risk.
‘The water moves at tremendous speed through holes when gullies form between sandbanks. Most professional swimmers cannot swim out. ‘
Another witness said, “We were there. It was horrible to watch. She wanted to save the two boys who had lost control of a sea kayak. She lay next to me in the water and then went straight ahead [and] got caught in the crack.
‘I empathize with the children and family who have seen it all happen. We are traumatized ourselves, let alone the family. I wish there was some kind of guard on Waxham beaches. It took too long for them to respond from Sea Palling. ‘
Marie explained how Dani kept an allotment garden, which she described as her ‘happy place’. “It was the brightest and most beautiful of them all,” she added. ‘Family and friends keep it going for her’
The GoFundMe page to raise money for Dani’s sons has already raised £ 4,060. Pictured: Dani’s allotment
A third spectator posted on Facebook that Dani’s son was absolutely broken. She wrote: ‘Poor boys looked at the whole thing and will be traumatized for life. I am completely devastated by them all and want to help as much as possible.
Four people die in a heat wave at beauty spots in Britain
Dani was one of at least four Britons who died in accidents in sweltering temperatures at the beginning of the month.
Mother Jane Walker, 52, died in a crash between a jet ski and a boat in the Menai Strait in North Wales on Saturday, August 8.
Schoolgirl Ava Gray, 12, died after running into difficulties in the River Leven in the village of Balloch in West Dunbartonshire on Sunday 9.
And a man in his sixties was taken out of the water at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, on Monday, June 10.
‘I never thought I would see something like this. Saw it from start to finish. My girlfriend, who is a strong swimmer, was in the exact same spot and managed to get out because she is a super strong swimmer. ‘
Dani’s mother was a single parent who passed away about a year and a half ago, so her two sons are moving back in with their father.
Marie explained, “Dani left the family home with the boys about 10 years ago and moved into a rented house that she made their own.
She remained friends with the boys’ father, and they will move back in with him. He is still in the original family home, but it needs work.
“There are leaks that need to be fixed, they need a new hot water tank, new carpets, a new kitchen, completely redecorated, the garden needs to be gutted and they need a new fence.
That’s why I set up the GoFundMe page; people wanted to help, knowing how much the work would cost, in addition to the grief of losing someone you love. It’s terrible.’
Marie explained how Dani kept an allotment garden, which she described as her ‘happy place’.
‘It was the the brightest and most beautiful of all, ”she added. Family and friends will keep it going for her.
“Dani has always wanted the best for her children, and we will continue this for her.”
The GoFundMe page has already raised £ 4,060 – to donate, click here.