A YOUNG wife drowned in shallow water at Camber Sands just weeks after winning a visa to be reunited with her husband.
Nurse Tanzeela Ajmal, 31, from Norbury, London, was one of four people who got into difficulty in the water when a church group’s summer seaside trip ended in tragedy an inquest heard this week.
Tanzeela was pulled from the sea unconscious and airlifted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
She was on a life support machine but died a few days later with her husband at her side.
Around 15 members of the group, including children, went into the water. Some were wearing clothes. The majority of the group could not swim.
Tanzeela’s husband Ajmal Gill was the first of the group to get into difficulty when the group went into the water on a fine day on August 1 last year.
He told the inquest: “We had no intention of going deep into the water when all of a sudden I felt a current, or undertow pull me deeper and I went under.
“I was unconscious. I thought I was going to die. I was the furthest out to sea so I thought only I was involved.”
He told the inquest he had met his wife in Pakistan in 2,000 when they were both medical students.
He came to England to work as a nurse but there were problems with Tanzeela following him, due to visa difficulties.
The couple were reunited when she was granted a visa in June last year.
Pastor Ilyas Mughal, told the inquest how he ran into the water to help and said: “The sea appeared to be calm and she did not seem to be in very deep. The tide was coming in very quickly.”
Two off duty doctors joined the Camber beach team in helping to resuscitate the four people who were affected.
Coastal officer Rob Cass told the inquest he was puzzled as to how the four got into difficulty. He said: “There was a typical July sea breeze but nothing that would raise any alarm bells.
“My assessment is they did not know their own limitations and could have been unaware they were going out of their depth.”
Coroner Alan Craze praised the response of the beach team and local police officers and said: “I cannot see how their reaction could have been better or more professional.
“I have to understand how four people, quite separately, got into difficulty on a calm day.
“By and large the beach is safe. The problem was inexperienced people encountering the beach. I do not believe any of them would have got into difficulty if they had known more.”
In recording a verdict of death by misadventure, Mr Craze told Tanzeela’s husband: “This is a desperate tragedy. You came down expecting a lovely day and your wife was taken from you.”