Sea tragedy for Ipswich family

IPSWICH hospital staff fought for more than an hour to save the life of a consultant's wife who died after a dramatic sea rescue.The rescue began after witnesses spotted Kari Boto's clothes on the shingle, having earlier seen her sitting with her head in her hands at Felixstowe Ferry.

IPSWICH hospital staff fought for more than an hour to save the life of a consultant's wife who died after a dramatic sea rescue.

The rescue began after witnesses spotted Kari Boto's clothes on the shingle, having earlier seen her sitting with her head in her hands at Felixstowe Ferry.

Mrs Boto was the International Director for the BBC World Service Trust and was the wife of Ipswich Hospital gynaecologist Tom Boto.

Lifeboats and Coastguards were sent to the scene, along with a search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham.

Thames Coastguards co-ordinated the search along the shore and in the sea between The Dip and Felixstowe Ferry around midday yesterday .

Mrs Boto, who lived in Park Road, Ipswich, was found face down on the seaward side of the lagoon off the Ferry golf course. She was winched into the helicopter hovering 50ft over the water and flown to Ipswich Hospital as there were still signs of life.

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Doctors battled for an-hour-and-a-half to resuscitate Mrs Boto but she was pronounced dead at 2pm.

The search and recovery of her body was witnessed by children who were on a school trip to the beach and Coastguards counselled the teachers so they could deal with any distressed youngsters.

Felixstowe Coastguard Jo Arlow said: “We attended and found the clothes and personal belongings and a set of car keys. We looked for the car but could not trace it and so we called in the Harwich Lifeboat.”

The clothes were about 200 metres from The Dip slipway. Her car was later found in the car park at the junction of Cliff Road and Brackenbury Clifftop.

Mr Arlow added: “It is a very sad incident to have happened. We were concerned because there was a party of schoolchildren not far away who would have seen everything. We counselled the teachers who were with the party and we hope the children will be OK.”

Lieutenant Tyson Weinert of the Wattisham Helicopter crew said: “We arrived on the scene and on the first leg of our search we identified her in the water. We were able to pick her up right away and take her to Ipswich Hospital. We attempted to resuscitate her en route and the resuscitation continued when the ambulance crew took over.”

Witness Alan Gadd, of Dunstable, who was on holiday at the resort, said: “We could see what was happening and was hoping the woman would be found alive, until we saw the helicopter winchman come down and recover a body. She had been in the water quite a long time and it was a chilly day.”

A police spokesman said the coroner had been informed and an inquest would be held. The death was not being treated as suspicious.

Coastguards would like the school to get in touch with them so they can do some follow-up work with the children on the dangers of the sea - call 01394 674274.

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