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Police name Outer Hebrides tourist who died after being swept out to sea

Photograph of Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Photograph of Agnes Proudhon-Smith

Police have confirmed the identity of the woman who died in an incident at Nisabost beach on the Isle of Harris.

Agnes Proudhon-Smith died after being swept out to sea on Wednesday morning whilst taking photographs of the area.

The 50-year-old from the London area was believed to be part of a small photography group visiting the isles.

A police statement said: “Inquiries remain ongoing into the incident, although there are no apparent suspicious circumstances.”


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The Coastguard was alerted and sent the Stornoway-based rescue helicopter, teams from Scalpa, Tarbert and Stornoway, and the Leverburgh RNLI lifeboat.

Proudhon-Smith was recovered from the water by the helicopter and taken to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, on neighbouring Lewis, but police later confirmed she had died.

Local politicians last night described their “shock” at the tragedy – the second death in waters off Harris in recent years after a 45-year-old woman drowned off Scarista beach in 2013.

Harris tragedy: Woman was taking photographs when waves swept her into the sea

Councillor Paul Finnegan, a member of the local coastguard team, said: “The lady was a tourist who had been taking photographs from rocks and she was hit by waves and knocked into the water.

“She was with a small group of people who were with her at the time, but couldn’t do anything to help her.

“It was quite breezy at the time and there was a natural swell in the sea. It is just terrible, absolutely awful and the second tragedy in recent years.

“This shows the dangers of the sea and how it can catch you out.”

Winds at the time were reported to be gusting at 50mph.

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