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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 20:18 GMT 21:18 UK
Plea for warnings after sea death
Search of West Bay
Rescuers battled "horrendous conditions" in West Bay
A mother has called for better warning signs on a Dorset beach after her son drowned in a holiday swimming accident.

Marcus Welfare, 19, of Morden, Surrey, died of salt water drowning at West Bay, Dorset, on 18 May, an inquest in Dorchester heard on Wednesday.

Coroner Michael Johnston said strong current warning signs were in place on the beach but Celia Welfare claimed they were "not explicit enough".

A coastal risk assessment is being carried out in the area.

The inquest heard how Mr Welfare, who was on holiday with his father, ran into difficulties and could not get out of the water.

They should say you swim at your own risk
Celia Welfare

James Wright, of the Lyme Regis lifeboat, said the shelving shingle beach could become "quicksand" and the sea like a "bubbling cauldron" in bad weather.

He added conditions on the day were "horrendous", by the time the lifeboat arrived.

Robert Welfare, the teenager's father, said it had been "sunny, warm and pleasant" when they arrived.

Mrs Welfare told the coroner better signs should be put up, warning people of the danger of the sea.

Coastal assessment

She said: "They should say you swim at your own risk, and that swimming has resulted in fatalities.

"Then people might think twice about swimming there at all."

The coroner said a coastal risk assessment, which started before Mr Welfare's death, would establish whether more signs or other controls were needed.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Teenager drowns swimming in bay
19 May 06 |  Dorset

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