Service remembers police officers killed trying to save Scots tourist

A memorial service was held on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the deaths of three police officers who lost their lives during an attempted sea rescue.

Lancashire Pcs Colin Morrison, Gordon Connolly and Angela Bradley drowned while trying to save a Scottish tourist who had gone into the Irish Sea at Blackpool in order to rescue his pet dog on January 5 1983.

The three officers entered the water close to Gynn Square but were overcome by the strong tide, waves and freezing cold water.

The 25-year-old tourist, Alistair Anthony, who was on a trip to the resort from Glasgow, also died.

A fourth officer, Pc Pat Abram, was rescued by colleagues who were able to throw a rope around his neck, before he was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the Promenade.

The families of the victims were joined by members of the constabulary and the other emergency services for the memorial event at Gynn Square at 1pm.

Members of the public also attended.

Chief Superintendent Richard Debicki, of Lancashire Police, said: "That tragic day in 1983 was one of the darkest in the history of Lancashire Constabulary.

"Three officers arrived for duty in the morning but never returned to their families.

"They died trying to save a man that they did not know, which is the epitome of public service.

"We are very proud of their brave actions and we will always remember them.

"In spite of their selfless acts, tragically four people lost their lives that day.

"We also remember a member of the public, Alistair Anthony, who tragically died during the incident.

"This should serve as poignant reminder of the dangers of the sea, which still continues to claim lives to this day."

He added: "We will continue to remember those who lost their lives that day, and feel a great sense of honour and pride in being able to hold this special service.

"Those officers are etched in the history of the constabulary — their photographs still on the walls in our police stations, rooms named in memory of them, and bravery awards still awarded in their name."