Tragic Brit tourists drowned when woman was swept away and fiancé tried to save her

A British couple drowned in Portugal after one of them was swept away in the sea and her partner tried in vain to rescue her. 

Kim Fletcher and her fiancé Danny Johnson had been holidaying at a spiritual retreat in Portugal when they got into trouble in the water.

The North Staffordshire couple had gone with their group on a trip to the beach at Zambujeira do Mar. 

An inquest heard yesterday that both of the pair were known to be good swimmers.

But when 34-year-old yoga teacher Kim went into the water, she is thought to have been dragged away by the riptide. 

Witnesses described seeing Danny go to her aid before he also got into difficulties near the rocky area. 

Onlookers called the emergency services as several surfers scrambled to help the pair.

Nuno Fonseca, who recalled how the sea conditions seemed “quite agitated with a strong swell” that afternoon, said there was a “frenzy” as people tried to reach them.

He added: “One of the individuals was rescued on a stretcher and given first aid. The other individual was rescued by helicopter.” 

Kim, of Stoke, was the first to be brought to shore. 

Danny, a rap artist and security officer, was found in part of the cove that was difficult to reach, and the operation to help him proved trickier

Despite rescuers’ best efforts, both drowned.

Peter Barrett, who owned the retreat, said in a statement: “He was really excited about going as it was a lovely location. It was a glorious day.

“Thirty-three-year-old Danny, of Vicarage Lane, Madeley, had been eagerly anticipating their beach trip on October 6, 2019. 

“On that particular day, the sea was rather rough and it was quite windy. It was also quite busy as there were a lot of visitors on the beach.”

Peter had gone off to buy food when he received a frantic call from his son, alerting him to the drama in the sea. 

He was told Kim appeared to have been “clinging to a rock”. 

The inquest heard there were no lifeguards on duty at the beach as the official bathing season had ended. 

But Peter added: “Everyone who was there was able to do everything they could to help out.” 

Kim and Danny, who had a young daughter together as well as Kim’s older daughter, have been described as “two beautiful souls” who lit up the lives of others.

Since their deaths, thousands of pounds has been raised in their memory. 

North Staffordshire coroner Andrew Barkley said he was sadly unable to answer all the families’ questions about what happened that day. 

He said: “She got into difficulty. Unable to extract herself from the water, she was getting pulled further out. Daniel takes to the water to try and rescue her. He himself gets into difficulty.”

But he added: “The sea was turbulent, it was rough. For some reason we are not clear about, but we can only assume that she went into the sea for a swim, Kimberley was first in the water.” 

Mr Barkley concluded both deaths were due to misadventure