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    British student nurse, 19, drowned during midnight swim in Ghana

    Tributes have been paid to a teenager who tragically died after going for a midnight swim with friends last year in Ghana.

    Millie Ann Gentry, 19, had been on a student placement in Ghana. The nursing student from Gomersal, Cleckheaton, was just over two weeks into her one-month volunteering stint at a hospital in Ghana, West Africa, when the sad incident happened in the early hours of March 17 last year.

    Millie and her friend Erin Byrnes, from Halifax, were staying in lodgings in Busua, a beach resort. They decided to go for a late night swim in the sea with another friend, Lewis Mallinson, an inquest heard.

    After having a few drinks at a pool bar, they were told to return to their room due to a 10 pm curfew. At around 12.30 am they decided to head to the beach for a swim.

    Erin shared in a statement how the waves “pulled us all in”. She tried to lift Millie up and screamed for help, but sadly, she could see that Millie had drowned.

    Erin, who wasn’t a strong swimmer, said: “I laid on my back, screaming for help. I was so close to giving up,” reports Yorkshire Live. She was eventually rescued from the sea while others continued to search for Millie.

    Lewis Mallinson, who was also volunteering in Ghana, said they had been in the sea for about 15 minutes and the current was ‘very strong’ with big waves.

    In a statement, Lewis shared that Millie and Erin were ‘struggling’ and he had to leave them to call for help. He said Erin was rescued after about 30 minutes.

    Sadly, four hours later, Millie’s body was found. He added that around 30 villages had joined the rescue efforts. A post-mortem examination revealed Millie had drowned and had suffered a head injury while in the sea.

    Millie’s mum Tracy spoke on behalf of the family at the inquest. She described Millie as a ‘beautiful girl’ who had chosen to dedicate her life to children’s nursing.

    Millie, who had three siblings, was studying for a degree in nursing at Bradford University and was a much-loved daughter.

    Tracy said Millie was kind and had the ‘biggest heart’, as well as being clever and good-looking. She had been shy to go places until she met her boyfriend, Elvis, who gave her the confidence to try new things, Tracy said.

    Tracy shared that Millie had told her that Elvis was the one she wanted to spend her life with. When Millie secured the placement, her family didn’t think she would go through with it.

    The trip was seen by her family as the “biggest adventure in her young life”.

    The inquest heard from Christopher Holland, who works for The Mighty Roar company. He said they told volunteers to be safe and not swim at night.

    The court was told that on the night Millie died, she and her friends missed their 10 pm curfew and climbed a tall wall to get to the beach.

    Senior coroner Martin Fleming ruled Millie’s death was an accident and Millie hit her head in the water.

    Her friends made aGoFundMee page to help her family, raising over £4,500 from more than 150 people. The page said Millie was a “bright, smiley and caring individual” and will be missed a lot.

    Millie’s family and friends wrote messages to remember her. One said: “Millie had the kindest and most purest soul, and we made some wonderful memories together.

    “She was always an early bird and used to make me come to university a whole hour early so we wouldn’t miss our lectures.”

    Another friend shared: “Millie had the kindest soul and was such an amazing girl, we had so many memories together which I’ll forever cherish and I feel so lucky to have been her friend.”

    Source: mirror.co.uk

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