Devon man, 21, drowns after being caught in rip current

Northcott Mouth, near Bude
-Credit: (Image: Flickr)


A young man from Holsworthy, Devon, drowned in the sea after being caught up in a rip current. An inquest has now opened into the tragic death of Jack Edward Lees, 21, who died last month after getting into difficulty off Northcott Mouth, near Bude.

The swimmer was lost at sea on Tuesday (June 4) and Bude Coastguard Rescue Team was called at 9.24pm. Crews attended to reports of people in difficulty just north of Northcott Mouth.

Two females managed to get back to shore but the man remained in the sea. Multiple coastguard, lifeboat and drone crews worked throughout the night and the following day, Wednesday, June 5, to find him.

Despite their best efforts, the missing man was not found and a body was discovered in the Crackington Haven area two weeks later on Tuesday, June 18.

An inquest was opened into his death on June 26. It has now been adjourned and a full hearing to establish the circumstances of his death will be held at a later date.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the coastguard has pointed beachgoers to advice on how to identify rip currents and deal with being caught in a riptide. Bude Coastguard Rescue Team said in a post on Facebook: "Sadly, despite a thorough search, the missing male was not located at the time. Our thoughts very much remain with his family and friends."

The majority of RNLI lifeguard incidents involve rip currents and they are a major cause of accidental drowning. For more advice on what to do in a ripcurrent, visit its website.