A mum-of-two whose son was killed in a tragic incident 10 years ago has said she will ‘never get over’ losing him. Leah Hunt’s 15-year-old son Sam died after he fell into the sea after being hit by a large wave whilst on a family holiday in Swansea.
Sam, from the Wirral, was with his older brother Lewis at the time, the 21-year-old having fought bravely to rescue him. Sadly, Sam was later pronounced dead at the hospital after both brothers were winched out of the water by teams from the RNLI.
Mum Leah, who works for the British Transport Police, told the Liverpool Echo that she will be forever grateful to those who rescued Lewis, and to Lewis for being there so ‘Sam wasn’t alone’ in his final moments.
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She said: “It was three minutes past midnight when the police knocked at my door to tell me we’d lost Sam. I was just numb, I’ll never get over it.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of crew members over the years and I know the guys who were on the boat that night. They actually said to me, ‘We’re really sorry we couldn’t save Sam’, but I just hugged them and said ‘Yes, but you saved me’ – that’s what they need to realize.
“Thanks to them Lewis is still here and it’s him that keeps me going now. He was in the navy at the time and strong, whereas Sam was tiny; just five foot tall and five stone.”
She added that Lewis suffers from PTSD as a result of what happened. “He keeps himself busy with his three kids though, I don’t think you can get much busier than that.
“People say to me it’s a terrible thing to go through, but I know Lewis went through worse than me. I’m only grateful that both my boys were together and that Sam wasn’t alone – I can’t even imagine what it would’ve been like had Lewis not been there.”
Leah is now grandmother to Lewis’ three children, and still working. But, alongside her job de ella with the police she also raises money and awareness for the charity who saved one of her boys and did the best they could for the other.
Next month she is organizing a memorial day for Sam to both keep his memory alive and to raise money that may help save the children of others in the future. She will also be taking part in a coastal walk that is open to the public who wish to help raise money for the RNLI.
Marking the 10th anniversary of Sam’s passing, she said, “It’s more important to me than ever to see his legacy live on in such a positive way. Some probably take the RNLI for granted, thinking it’s just another emergency service.
“But I would do anything for them and this walk is just one of the ways I want to say thank you.”
If you wish to donate or simply find out more about Leah’s money raising efforts to help the RNLI save lives, you can find out more at RNLI.org/SupportMayday. Or if you would like to support Leah at the memorial day for Sam, you can find more information at rnli.enthuse.com/pf/wirral-coastal-walk.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.