A mum has spoken of her despair after her life was saved by her 24-year-old son, who was then swept out to sea.
Ross Parker lost his life on November 3 while visiting a beach for an afternoon stroll with his mum Sam Ord.
Ross, a hotel worker had just moved to Dorset from Leigh, Greater Mancheser, and was said to be in a happy place having met his new girlfriend Kiah.
His mum Sam was visiting him and the pair had just had lunch at the Seaside Boarding House in Bridport where Ross worked as a barman, before heading out for a walk.
The tide was low and there were other walkers on the sand, but a random wave led to tragedy when it hit Sam on the back of the legs, sending her toppling over into the sand and struggling to get up.
It was then Ross sprang into action to stop his mum from being swept away, with tragic consequences.
"He was holding me down to stop me getting washed into the sea," Sam told the M.E.N.
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"He was knelt down with his knee on my chest and I've got bruises on my arms from where he was holding my arms.
"Water was coming over us, in our mouths and noses, and I actually said to him 'I'm going to die'. He said 'no you're not mum, you're f*****g not' and he started shouting for help."
Witnesses told emergency services a big wave came and scooped the pair up, sending Sam in the direction of the beach and Ross out on the tide.
Despite a huge search operation from the coastguard and helicopters, they were unable to rescue him. His body was found the following the morning at nearby Hive beach.
"I don't remember him going," said Sam. "I remember the water coming over us and him saying 'I'm sorry mum', but the next thing I remember is being flat on my back on the beach.
"I was in an ambulance as they searched for Ross and the doctor agreed to stay there with me as I didn't want to leave the scene.
"Up until about 6.30pm I was hoping they'd find him but when it got to that time I honestly got this feeling that I can't describe – I've never had it before – but I knew he was gone.
"For me, I think he went at half past six as I felt something die inside me."
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Struggling to come to terms with the tragedy and on medication to help her sleep, it's the fact that Ross gave his life to save her that is keeping Sam going.
"My first thought was I wish he'd let me go as he had everything to live for," she said. "But then I wouldn't want him to be going through what I'm going through, so part of me wishes it had taken us both.
"I know family and friends are worried about me, but I do realise that he lost his life saving me and if I was to do anything then I'd really be letting him down.
"I thought I'd done all my grieving as I've lost my mum and dad and the last thing I expected was to bury my son."
Sam, who works on the personal injury team at Stephensons Solicitors in Wigan, says she and Ross, whose dad Alex died when he was 10, were 'a real team'.
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Both Manchester City fans, they had enjoyed watching Vincent Kompany's testimonial match together just the night before Ross left for his fresh start in Dorset, leaving his job at Tattu in Spinningfields to do so.
"I didn't want him to go and I cried my eyes out when he did," she said. "But he'd been working in the city centre, doing unsociable hours and spending all his money on taxis and he wanted something new.
"Whatever he did he put his all into it and for anyone to leave home with just a bag of clothes and £20 in his pocket takes some balls.
"He was loving it there. He told me he was smitten with his girlfriend and he said to me 'mum, I know you didn't want to make a life for myself down here, but I think I will end up doing – and you can come here when you retire'.
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"I truly believe he would have stayed there and I am glad that he managed to find his happy place."
Sam is contacting Ross' many friends and former colleagues – from places including The Lock in Leigh and Manchester's Almost Famous, Apotheca and Harvey Nichols – to let them know about the tragedy.
She is planning his funeral at Howe Bridge Crematorium and asking mourners to wear either Manchester City shirts, or clothing or colours of WWE, or the Green Bay Packers, the American football team that Ross also followed.
Sam said she wanted to thank her employers for being 'absolutely amazing' with the support they've given her since Ross' death – both extending her leave and offering financial help towards the funeral.
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