Investigation begins into death of brave Blackpool man who drowned trying to save struggling woman

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An investigation into the death of an ‘heroic’ young Blackpool man will examine video footage of lifeboat crews’ frantic attempts to save him.


A pre-inquest review into the death of Alex Gibson, who drowned off the coast of Blackpool in the early hours of July 30, opened at the Town Hall today.

Mr Gibson, 22 of Park Road, is believed to have entered the water near the Metropole Hotel in the early hours of the morning after being alerted to a woman in trouble.

A major rescue operation involving coastguard teams from Fleetwood and Lytham, RNLI volunteers from Blackpool and Fleetwood, and a rescue helicopter was launched. The woman managed to swim to shore, but tragically Mr Gibson lost his life.

Alex Gibson

Alex Gibson

His inquest, which is scheduled to begin on January 21, will hear evidence from two of his friends, who spent a night out with Gibson shortly before his death.

A pathologist, a senior investigating police officer, a female witness, an RNLI lifeguard and two strangers who noticed Mr Gibson in the water and called 999 will also be called.

The court heard that video footage from the RNLI’s rescue operation would also be obtained, however, coroner Alan Wilson said: “It does seem that sadly, by the time they arrived, (Alex) was not in a survivable position.”

Alex’s father, Alexander Gibson, said: “I just need to know what happened that night. We don’t know why, we don’t know how. We want to get through this as soon as possible.”