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Newquay: Town beach death "tragic but inevitable"

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: May 15, 2013

Deaths on the streets of coastal resorts such as Newquay are "tragic but inevitable", community and tourism leaders have said

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DEATHS on the streets of coastal resorts such as Newquay are "tragic but inevitable", community and tourism leaders have said.

They were speaking after a man in his early thirties was discovered on the slipway at Towan Beach on Saturday – the second fatality in two weeks.

The circumstances surrounding the Hampshire man's death remain unclear and will be left for the county coroner to unravel. His family have been informed.

A police investigation also continues into the death of local angler Mick Kearns, 48, who died on the street outside Sailors Nightclub in the early hours of Saturday, April 27.

But despite the double tragedy, key figures in the town believe its image and reputation will not suffer long-term damage.

And they praised the continuing work of police and the multi-agency Newquay Safe partnership in the run-up to the summer season, when the town's population typically swells from around 20,000 to 120,000.

Newquay Cornwall councillor Pat Lambshead said: "The police are adequately resourced and do a very good job. All we can do is try to make people aware of the dangers of seaside towns but sometimes they are like wars – people get killed."

His thoughts were echoed by Malcolm Bell, of the VisitCornwall tourist board, who said: "With 4.5 million people visiting Cornwall every year these incidents are sadly inevitable. It won't hurt tourism but it won't do it any good either.

"The danger is that if something happens later on then they will be added together. We just have to hope for a safe summer season in Newquay."

Superintendent John Green said he had faith in the ability of the resort's inspector, Dave Meredith, to ensure it remains a safe place to live and visit.

He also reminded holidaymakers that they have a "responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately".

Newquay hit the headlines in 2009 following the deaths of teenagers Paddy Higgins and Andrew Curwell in cliff falls. The tragedies sparked the creation of Newquay Safe, aimed at better protecting the town's visitors, improving its image, and cracking down on booze-related crime.

Rob Andrew, joint project lead for the partnership, said it was "unfortunate" that the two recent deaths had occurred in quick succession.

He added: "The partnership's plans for this summer are well developed and we all hope that this is the last tragedy we see."

Eve Wooldridge, of Newquay's Business Improvement District (BID), said the group would continue to work hard to show the resort in a positive light.

"While very unfortunate, incidents like this are not exclusive to Newquay and can happen in any town or city," she said. "All we can do is work as hard as we can to protect the reputation and perception of Newquay."

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  • sunriser29  |  May 17 2013, 3:33PM

    I was fortunate enough to know this gentlemen and know that all that knew him and his larger than life personality will be sorely missed ! RIP JEZ XX

  • jimjams2011  |  May 15 2013, 11:35PM

    Survival of the fittest. If you get that drunk or fight with bouncers then this is the sort of stuff that happens.

  • connonbridge  |  May 15 2013, 12:16PM

    I don't know the cause of this man's death, nor the one last week, but it would not surprise me if they were as a result of too much drink. Whilst I accept that people should conduct themselves in a responsible manner, Publicans should also conduct their business in a responsible manner. There was a time when if a landlord was of the opinion that you had too much to drink they would refuse you more, but nowadays it seems that as long as you have got money in your pocket to pay for it, they will keep serving you until you are completely paralytic - at which point they will chuck you out as a troublemaker and pass the buck over to the police. So, the taxes that we pay to finance the police overtime bill is subsidising the irresponsible actions of the so-called 'night time ecconomy'. Similarly however, the police do have the power to challenge the renewal of the publicans' licences, but they rarely do unless there is rampant drugs involved! Perhaps the refusal of a few licences because of drunkenness would bring a sense of order. Having seen the police precept on my rates bill go up this year, I am getting fed up seeing this being squandered supporting irresponsible publicans!

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  • First Impressions  |  May 15 2013, 11:43AM

    I agree with Fistral20. The comments made by Councillor Lambshead were pretty pathetic. You cannot use the analogy of war as a comparison to a death in a seaside town. Who votes these idiots in???

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  • Fistral20  |  May 15 2013, 8:33AM

    Great PR comment from Councillor Lambshead, comparing seaside towns to wars, I'm sure everyone living in Newquay will be chuffed about that. However, Inspector Green's comments are spot on, if people can't conduct themselves and be responsible for their own actions and behaviour, it's no surprise deaths occur.

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