Two British women who died during a late-night swim on Spain's Costa Brava in the early hours of Thursday (1 October) have been named as Lisa Coggins, 35, and Tracey Aston, 32. Local emergency services were alerted shortly after 4am local time when the pair did not return from their swim off the beach in Lloret de Mar.
Police said they were part of a group of five women from Birmingham who had gone to the beach in the early hours of the morning. After the alarm was raised, a coastguard boat and several helicopters were sent to search for the women and specialist divers were dispatched, Spain's maritime rescue services said.
Coggins's boyfriend Mario Sassano, 36, told the Birmingham Mail she was with her sisters and her friend at the time of the tragedy. "She has two children. We do not know how the news will be broken to them," he said. "She was a hard working girl - just beautiful. I can't really put anything into words. I just doesn't know what to say. I am just so sad."
The bodies of the women were found in the sea between Lloret de Mar and Blanes following an eight-hour search. "We sent out a rescue boat and scrambled two helicopters to the area to look for the two British women," a spokesman for the coastal rescue services told local media. "It was very bad weather, the waves were big and the currents were powerful. We don't know the circumstances of why they decided to go for a swim except that they were with a group of other women who raised the alarm when they failed to come out of the water."
The Foreign Office said: "We can confirm the death of two British nationals who had been reported missing in Lloret de Mar on 1 October. We are providing support to the families and those who were travelling with the individuals at this difficult time."