Coastline safety petition launched in memory of fisherman Damian

The family of a Widdrington man, who tragically died earlier this month, has started a petition calling on Northumberland County Council to improve safety by installing life rings along the coastline.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 08:30 am
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 08:33 am
Cullernose Point on the coast north of Howick. Picture by Jane Coltman

And as well as various places to make a donation to help with the costs of Damian Dixon’s funeral, tributes to the 24-year-old have been posted online.

He was swept out to sea while fishing between Craster and Howick on the morning of Sunday, January 13.

Northumbria Police has confirmed his death is not being treated as suspicious.

The online petition submitted by his sister, Chelsea Dixon, already has more than 2,300 signatures.

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It includes the following: ‘Sadly, on Sunday 13 January 2019 my brother lost his life, he was swept away whilst fishing near Cullernose Point.

‘His two friends were unable to help him as the sea was too rough and there were no life rings available for them to use.

‘In loving memory of Damian, we want to protect others who visit our wonderful coastline.’

The people who have commented when signing it include Natalie Common, who said: ‘I knew this lovely lad.

‘Fishermen do fish there, it’s a known fishermen point. After this tragic incident, please place a life ring as it could save lives.’

Bryan Hollinghurst said: ‘It could be a fisherman, hiker, dog walker child or anyone who visits the coastline, maybe if there had been a life ring nearby this tragic event could have had a better outcome. R.I.P. Damian.’

Lisa Norwood said: ‘Lovely lad was Damian.’

Lee Forbes said: ‘I am a fellow fisherman and I do believe it should only be right that there are always safety precautions around on standby to be able to help them that are distressed and unable to help themselves. R.I.P. and my condolences to your family.’

Moya Trainer said: ‘I’m signing as no-one should lose their life under these circumstances.’

Ann Mockett said: ‘Please ensure there are safety devices to safeguard the beautiful Northumberland coastline and so avoid another terrible tragedy.’

To access the petition, go to www.change.org and type life rings in the search box.

A county council spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young man who died in this tragic accident.

“We are aware a petition is currently being raised and we will give it full consideration once it has been received by the council.”

Donation boxes to help with funeral costs are in place at the Widdrington Station Co-op, where Damian worked, The Widdy Chippy and FINE Fishing at the Warehouse in Alnwick.