Man swept to sea while scattering sister's ashes

image copyrightFamily photo
image captionShane Galliers was trying to scatter his sister Michelle's ashes when he was dragged into the sea

A disabled father drowned when a large wave swept him into the sea as he tried to scatter his sister's ashes, an inquest has heard.

Shane Galliers, 51, was on rocks at Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall, when a "surge" of water dragged him down in "treacherous conditions", the Truro inquest was told.

He had branched off from a large family gathering in January 2015 when the accident happened, police said.

His body has never been found.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionShane Galliers was "washing machined" by the sea at Trebarwith Strand, the inquest heard.

The inquest was told Mr Galliers from Lifton, Devon, had left the group of around 20 family members, holding a jar of his sister Michelle Galliers' ashes when he went to a rocky area close to the sea.

It heard a large wave knocked the former welder into the water and he was "washing machined" by the "extreme force" of the the "cold stormy sea".

image captionCoastguard teams searched the shoreline after Mr Galliers fell

A statement by Det Con Richard Martin from Devon and Cornwall Police told how a local man had said he "could not believe what he was seeing" when he spotted Mr Galliers so close to waves of up to 4.5m (15ft).

He had witnessed the grieving brother fall and minutes later had then seen another wave "force his head onto a rock" leaving him face down before his body disappeared.

The statement went on to tell how family members had tried to reach Mr Galliers with items of clothing and another man was also washed into the sea - but he was later swept to shore unharmed.

Deputy Coroner for Cornwall Andrew Cox said Mr Galliers "had put himself in a risky position and was maybe not thinking straight due to his grief" when he "got close to the sea presumably to scatter the ashes".

He concluded that Mr Galliers had died accidentally.

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