Barrow family’s agony as ‘best mum’ drowns in Canaries

The grieving husband of a Barrow woman who tragically drowned after she was dragged out to sea while on holiday in Lanzarote has described her as “simply the best”.

Thursday, 22nd August 2013, 10:52 am
Nikki Bate who drowned in Lanzarote

Mother-of-three Nikki Bate (48), who had just gone for a swim, died after getting into difficulty off the shore of Famara Beach, near the resort of Caleta de Famara. The tragedy happened last Thursday (August 15th) while Nikki was holidaying with her children India (14), Nathianiel (12) and 10-year-old Cameron and husband, Anthony (56).

Nikki screamed for help and Anthony bravely dived into the fierce waters to try to rescue her. He managed to grab her, but the strong riptide pulled them apart and she drowned.

Speaking from the family home in Barrow, Anthony recalled the horrifying moment he first noticed Nikki shouting for help: “The sea was terrible. It was shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it. I swam out to help and managed to grab her, but we were being bashed about and got separated. She panicked and drowned. It’s one of the most dangerous beaches in the Canaries and it was a little mistake with calamitous consequences. This is the tragedy we are left with.”

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Describing his wife of 16 years as a wonderful and dedicated mother, Anthony added: “We are devastated at the loss of my beautiful wife and a fantastic mother to our children, but we are being strong. She was the best mother and we miss her dearly.”

He went on to praise the life guards and the family’s neighbours out in the Canaries for the love and support shown to them: “The lifeguards got to us within minutes and pulled us both back to the beach and tried tirelessly to revive Nikki. They were very sensitive, as were the police and ambulance staff. I would also like to say a heartfelt thanks to our family and friends in Whalley and Barrow who have been very supportive and sympathetic.”

Born in Morecambe, Nikki moved with her family to Whalley at a young age. She attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.

More recently she was an active member of Friends of Whalley Primary School and volunteered for Home-Start Ribble Valley, offering friendship and practical help for families with young children.

Tributes have this week poured in from friends who described Nikki’s untimely death as a “real tragedy”. They included: “Nikki was a brilliant mother to her children and was immensely proud of their achievements.

“She was devoted to her children and had a great relationship with each of them. We recall how delighted she was with recent pictures in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times showing her children in various local productions.

“Nikki was often seen walking her dog around Whalley and Barrow and always had a kind word for people. She was popular among other mums at school and could always be relied upon to help out when anyone was in need.

“Nikki always seemed to be so full of energy. She helped out at Whalley Primary School, had been taking Spanish lessons, had volunteered with the Home-Start charity and enjoyed attending local Zumba classes.

“Nikki’s death is a real tragedy and she will be greatly missed by everyone in Whalley and Barrow.

“This was a terrible accident and we are all finding it hard to come to terms with the sad news. Our thoughts are with Tony, India, Nathaniel, Cameron and the rest of her family.”

Funeral arrangements are yet to be made, but Anthony confirmed a service will take place at Whalley Parish Church next week.