Newquay: Town beach death "tragic but inevitable"
DEATHS on the streets of coastal resorts such as Newquay are "tragic but inevitable", community and tourism leaders have said.
They were speaking after a man in his early thirties was discovered on the slipway at Towan Beach on Saturday – the second fatality in two weeks.
The circumstances surrounding the Hampshire man's death remain unclear and will be left for the county coroner to unravel. His family have been informed.
A police investigation also continues into the death of local angler Mick Kearns, 48, who died on the street outside Sailors Nightclub in the early hours of Saturday, April 27.
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But despite the double tragedy, key figures in the town believe its image and reputation will not suffer long-term damage.
And they praised the continuing work of police and the multi-agency Newquay Safe partnership in the run-up to the summer season, when the town's population typically swells from around 20,000 to 120,000.
Newquay Cornwall councillor Pat Lambshead said: "The police are adequately resourced and do a very good job. All we can do is try to make people aware of the dangers of seaside towns but sometimes they are like wars – people get killed."
His thoughts were echoed by Malcolm Bell, of the VisitCornwall tourist board, who said: "With 4.5 million people visiting Cornwall every year these incidents are sadly inevitable. It won't hurt tourism but it won't do it any good either.
"The danger is that if something happens later on then they will be added together. We just have to hope for a safe summer season in Newquay."
Superintendent John Green said he had faith in the ability of the resort's inspector, Dave Meredith, to ensure it remains a safe place to live and visit.
He also reminded holidaymakers that they have a "responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately".
Newquay hit the headlines in 2009 following the deaths of teenagers Paddy Higgins and Andrew Curwell in cliff falls. The tragedies sparked the creation of Newquay Safe, aimed at better protecting the town's visitors, improving its image, and cracking down on booze-related crime.
Rob Andrew, joint project lead for the partnership, said it was "unfortunate" that the two recent deaths had occurred in quick succession.
He added: "The partnership's plans for this summer are well developed and we all hope that this is the last tragedy we see."
Eve Wooldridge, of Newquay's Business Improvement District (BID), said the group would continue to work hard to show the resort in a positive light.
"While very unfortunate, incidents like this are not exclusive to Newquay and can happen in any town or city," she said. "All we can do is work as hard as we can to protect the reputation and perception of Newquay."