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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Scout leader is remembered
Barbara Pearson
Mrs Pearson worked with scouts for 20 years

The family of a Scout leader who died after being swept out to sea in north Wales have spoken of her love of working with children.

Barbara Pearson, 54, was caught by the tide on a rubber ring on Friday night off Porth Colmon on the Lleyn Peninsula.

On Sunday, her husband John Pearson and son Kevin, 28, laid flowers on the beach in Mrs Pearson's memory after travelling to Wales from Smethwick in the West Midlands to identify her body. It is thought the Scout leader may have died from a heart attack.

A post mortem examination to determine the cause of death will be carried out on Tuesday.

Mrs Pearson was one of two leaders looking after seven scouts on holiday at a nearby campsite.

She had been involved with the Smethwick Old Chuch Scout group since her son joined as a cub 20 years ago.

There has been the occasional boating accident in the past but nothing like this. It's tragic
Local farmer

She gave time in the week and at most weekends to the group and took them away on trips, Mr Pearson said.

"She loved it", he added.

Mrs Pearson had recently received an award for 20 years' service to the Scouts.

Sgt Meirion Roberts of North Wales Police said Mrs Pearson, who was a regular swimmer, waded out to sea in an inflatable raft or ring but fell out of it and was caught by the tide.

Her fellow leader Martin Sansome tried to assist but his boat capsized and they both had to be rescued.

She was unconscious when brought back to shore, and was airlifted to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor. She was pronounced dead at 2230 BST.

An 11-year-old scout who had also been swept away from shore managed to get back to safety, although suffering from shock.

Both he and Mr Sansome, who had hypothermia, were flown to hospital but later recovered.

Helicopter (picture courtesy of www.penllyn.com)
Three people were airlifted to hospital

The scout group was staying at Mr Sansome's caravan at a campsite near the beach where the tragedy happened.

The site is popular with people taking part in diving and canoeing activities, according to regular visitors John Davies and Susan Cousins from Stockport.

Ms Cousins said: "The sea can get a lot of swell up in windy weather and can be treacherous."

Mr Davies added: "You can see when the tide is out that there are rocky channels.

"One minute you can be on top of the rocks and the next you can be between them in one of the channels, some of which are six feet deep.

A farmer who owns land near the beach said: "There has been the occasional boating accident in the past but nothing like this. It's tragic."

BBC Wales' Nick Palit
"The woman seemed unable to swim"

Scout killed in rock fall
23 Oct 00  |  Wales
Boy, 8, drowned at Scout camp
18 Feb 00  |  UK News

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