Memorial service marks the 40th anniversary of Blackpool sea tragedy

A Memorial service was held to mark the 40th anniversary of three Blackpool police officers, who lost their lives during a tragic attempted sea rescue in January 1983.

Hundreds gathered together around Gynn Square to commemorate the loss of these brave individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice.

During the memorial a new plaque was unveiled to replace the old, weathered one.

PCs Gordon Connolly, Colin Morrison and Angela Bradley drowned while trying to save a tourist, Alastair Anthony, who had gone into the sea to rescue his dog. They also died.

A fourth officer, PC Pat Abram, was rescued by colleagues and members of the fire service, who were able to throw a rope around his neck, before he was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the prom.

Mr Abram said: “It’s obviously poignant, it’s four decades ago and the memorial service has been held each year since the event in 1983.

“The service was very good and there was a lot of effort put in by senior management, Lancashire Police, the National Association for retired Police Officers (NARPO) and the Police Federation.

“The replacement plaque was funded by the three organisations and I think it’s absolutely wonderful that the memory of the officers that were lost and the member of the public who they were trying to save are still remembered.”

Daughter of PC Colin Morrison, Louise Morrison, said: “My mum passed away at the end of last year, this is the first one that she’s not attended. She would’ve been very pleased with the turn out and elated at the new plaque.

“I think it was one of the best memorials to have taken place, especially with the poignant addition of firing the Maroon flare.

“My mother, Hilary was a proud advocate for COPS – a charity who helped all of the families at the time and continue to do so.”

Care of Police Survivors (COPS) is a charity which supports the families of police officers and staff who have lost their lives on duty – they ensured family members and survivors got the help they needed.

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