North West Wales

'Bravery' of Lewis Darroch who drowned trying to save friend Callum MacKay

A father whose son drowned in rough seas off Anglesey has praised the "unstinting bravery" of the friend who died trying to save him.

Lewis Darroch, from Valley, dived into the water at Cable Bay on 24 August last year when Callum Mackay, also 22, from Llanfairpwll, got into trouble.

Mr Darroch was forced to give up but the waves swept him back into the sea.

Steven Mackay paid a "huge tribute" and backed a posthumous award. Accidental death inquest verdicts were recorded.

Mr Darroch was recovered by helicopter but was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, while Mr Mackay's body was found a week later.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones said: "The decision to go swimming in the conditions that prevailed that day wasn't wise.

"Although it wasn't difficult to go in the sea the problem was in getting out and the waves were such they were unable to get out safely.

"I think Callum's enthusiasm was too much for him in that he decided he was going swimming. It wasn't a wise decision.

"If he wasn't so enthusiastic he might not have jumped in. But he went in for the pleasure of swimming in such conditions and the fact he couldn't get out was a pure accident."

Mr Pritchard-Jones added: "Lewis hadn't intended to go swimming but when he realised his friend was in difficulties he stripped off and in his underpants dived in to try to save his friend."

The double inquest in Llangefni was told that Mr Darroch is to be nominated for a posthumous bravery award by the Carnegie Foundation.

Mr Mackay's father Steven said the award was "absolutely" justified.

He said: "We want to pay a huge tribute to Lewis Alan Darroch for his unstinting bravery in not even considering his own safety but just going in trying to rescue our son Callum.

"Just by a quirk of fate, a tragedy has happened."

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