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East Lancashire mum drowns on holiday in Lanzarote
A MOTHER-OF-THREE drowned after she was dragged out to sea in front of her horrified family while on holiday on Lanzarote.
Nikki Bate, 48, from Barrow, near Whalley went for a swim off the shore of Famara Beach, near the resort of Caleta de Famara on the north side of the island, but had got into difficulty.
She screamed for help and her hus-band Anthony, 56, bravely dived into the fierce waters to try to rescue her.
He managed to grab her, but the strong riptide pulled them apart and she drowned.
The tragedy happened after Nikki had earlier warned her two sons that the water was too dangerous after they wanted to go body-boarding.
After arriving back in the UK, Anthony, of Clitheroe Road, Barrow, said yesterday: "We spent a few hours paddling in the surf then she said 'in five minutes we're going home'.
"She went for a swim. But unfortunately it's one of the most dangerous beaches in the Canaries. My daughter India said she was shouting for help so then I swam out and reached her.
“The sea was terrible. It was shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“We were being bashed about and we got separated. She panicked and drowned. It was a little mistake with calamitous consequences and this is the tragedy we're left with.
He added: “We are all devastated but we are being strong.”
The family had been staying at their holiday home on the island before the tragic accident last Thursday afternoon.
Nelson-born Anthony, a company director, said lifeguards got to the couple within a few minutes, pulled them both back to the beach and battled for at least half an hour to save Nikki.
Anthony praised the lifeguards for their efforts. He said: “They tried tirelessly to revive my wife and were very sensitive, as were the police and ambulance staff."
He described his wife of 16 years as a wonderful and dedicated mother and said himself and his children India, 14, Nathaniel, 12, and Cameron, 10, will all miss her very much.
Anthony met Nikki 20 years ago at the Asda store in Accrington and bonded over their mutual vegetarianism.
Nikki, who is originally from Whalley, was a housewife who also volunteered for the Home-Start charity, offering friendship and practical help with families with young children in East Lancashire.
She also used to own The Crown Wheel restaurant in King Street, Whalley, which is now the Italian restaurant Amico Mio.
The family received consular assistance from the Foreign Office and arrived back in the UK at around 12am yesterday.
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