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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Family mourns beach death toddler
Abbie Livingstone-Nurse
Abbie was on holiday with her family
The family of a toddler who died after getting trapped in sand at the beach have paid tribute to their "fearless, gorgeous" girl.

Three-year-old Abbie Livingstone-Nurse suffocated in the sand at Towans Beach near Hayle, in Cornwall, on Sunday.

Her brother Joe, five, was pulled free from the 5ft hole they had dug.

Her mother Pippa Livingstone-Nurse and partner Ian Sayer laid flowers at the beach on Monday. They have now returned home to Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex.

Her mother remembered her daughter as being a "fearless baby who wanted to try everything".

"We are absolutely devastated - too devastated for words. She was our world," she told the Daily Telegraph.

I kept digging and digging, but the sand kept coming back, falling in
Ian Sayer

"She was a fearless little girl. We were in Devon for a week before coming to Cornwall. She climbed Hay Tor and there was no stopping her. Now she has gone."

Her stepfather, Mr Sayer, described how he tried in vain to rescue her.

"I was desperately trying to reach her," he told the newspaper.

"I kept digging and digging, but the sand kept coming back, falling in. I was frantic. Other people tried to dig, but it was just no good."

Flowers on beach
The family visited the spot where she died to lay flowers

He said Abbie was a "lovely little girl".

"She was always happy, smiling and open to everyone", he added.

"She had a huge heart... She was our baby girl, she was gorgeous."

Penwith area beach manager Phil Drew told the BBC how the lifeguards had joined the desperate attempts to save Abbie.

"Our lifeguards were alerted and went to the scene to assist," he said.

"A lot of sand collapsed back into the hole, then the emergency services arrived and between us we dug for about half an hour and managed to get her out.

"It was a big pit, but not particularly deep but because she was only a three-year-old child it was over her head.

"When it collapsed in on top of her she had a heavy weight of sand on her chest. We couldn't get to her to resuscitate her in time."

Devon and Cornwall Police say are treating her death as a tragic accident.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Beach manager speaks about failed rescue efforts



SEE ALSO:
Police name beach death toddler
16 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Beach death family thank helpers
15 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Girl, 3, dies in beach accident
15 Aug 05 |  Cornwall


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