A heroic mum who died trying to save her son and his friend in the sea has been named locally as 37-year-old Danielle Chilvers.

The mother drowned in the sea at Waxham beach on Sunday after jumping into the water in a bid to save her son and his friend, who’d gotten into trouble in a kayak. Though fellow visitors to the coastal area were able to retrieve the boys, they were unable to save Danielle after pulling her lifeless body from the sea off the Norfolk coast.

Holidaymakers attempted to resuscitate her on the beach before paramedics took over upon arrival on Sunday evening. She was later pronounced dead at hospital.



Danielle, known as Danni to many, is thought to have lived in Norwich. She and her son, who is believed to be around age 14, were staying at the Poplar Farm campsite beside the sand dunes at Waxham.


Campsite manager Kyle Reeve described her death as ‘an absolute tragedy’.

He told reporters: ‘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 outswim them.’

The incident took place ar around 5.30pm on Sunday, when the beach area was still filled with holidaymakers. Some witnesses took to social media to share their experiences, with one describing Dani as a ‘hero’.

One wrote on Facebook: ‘I saw them having fun on the kayak and then saw them get in trouble so [I] called the coastguard.

‘Two heroes went in and saved the boys, but she (the woman) 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.’

Norfolk Police confirmed an investigation had been launched into the death at Waxham beach but said it was not being treated as suspicious.

Superintendent Jason Broome from Norfolk Police said: ‘A woman, aged in her 30s, was recovered from the water and she was sadly pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

‘While enquiries are continuing to establish the exact circumstances leading up to the woman’s death, this is a tragic situation and our condolences are with her family.’

Danielle’s death happened just a day after the body of a man was pulled from the water at Bawsey Pits, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk, after witnesses saw him getting into difficulty having gone for a swim during the heatwave.

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