Mum’s warning after son ‘disappears’ into huge drop under water on ‘Winter Gardens’ beach

Seconds after this photo was taken Jay'me (with brother Kayden) disappeared into the huge dip under the water

A frantic mum has issued a warning after her two-year-old son ‘disappeared’ under the water while playing on the beach area behind Margate Winter Gardens.

Jade Williams, her mum Anne and two boys Kayden, six, and Jay’me, two, had been for a walk this morning (June 15) to see which shops had reopened and decided to stroll along the beach.

By the bottom of the slipway the boys spotted a ‘large puddle’ of water and asked if they could get wet.

Parents Jade and Martin

Jade, 27, said: “They were next to the puddle and running through it. Me and mum started slowly to walk and just as I turned around to say ‘come on’ because they weren’t following I saw Jay’me, one minute running and then the next minute he just disappeared under the water and then came back to the top floating face down.

“I could see his arms struggling to pull himself out and I just dropped everything and ran through the puddle and ended up going down up to my waist.

“I grabbed his arms, flipped him over and pulled him out. I was trying to get the water out of him and he was coughing and choking. I was so scared. A couple of seconds more and I might have lost him.”

Jade, who lives in Margate with the boys and her partner Martin, says a sign needs to be put up to warn people of the danger, either on the railings or painted on the slope.

The drop is under the water at the bottom of the slope

She said: “It is so dangerous and since I put my post up (on facebook) today so many other people have said that it has happened to them to.

“Jay’me is fine now but I’m still trembling. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that.

“A bit of cardboard and some cable ties for a sign could save a life.”

Thanet council and Margate RNLI have been contacted to ask if signage can be put in place.

Find RNLI beach safety tips here


  1. That is dreadful and I hope the little one is okay now.
    This is not an area covered by lifeguards, even when on duty, so it is imperative when you have small children you do not take yours eyes of them for a second when playing in water, or be within grabbing distance.
    Someone needs to fill the hole in at the bottom of this ramp though or as the lady says, signs need to go up, but not just here, there should be signs at all Thanet’s beaches warning of dangers.

  2. I am so glad your boys are safe.

    Yes signs should definitely be put up but I think they should state that even 2 inches of water can be dangerous, so never take your eyes off of your kids when near water.

  3. The problem being that next time there’s a bit if a gale, the drop will reappear.
    As you said, the very best thing to do with children on an unfamiliar beach is to keep a firm hold of them.
    Teach them to swing, too, at the earliest opportunity.

  4. Growing up in Cliftonville people just never used the beach behind the Winter Garden because it dangerous. Plus you can get cut off by the tide. It was common knowledge.

  5. So do we need different signs for low and high water? Public information campaign explaining the sea might be deep? Why is an incident in a totally natural environment that was largely the result of a moments lack of attention someone elses fault? If the poor little kid had fallen over and hit his head on a stone would there be calls for “beware stones” signs. Has everybody lost the minds and common sense during lockdown?

  6. It’s come to the point where it’s always someone else’s fault. Common sense gone. Blame it all on everyone else.. Stop think world gone crazy… What a mess life has become. Mankind will kill its self and this planet..

  7. Deeper ‘holes’ of water has always formed at the bottom of slip ways it’s nothing new. For over hundreds of years they has been no need for signs.

    I wouldnt have left my young kids more than a few feet from me let alone near water.

    Perhaps the fault lies elsewhere.

    Glass every thing turned out well and no one was hurt. But you can see it the picture of the kiddies that there is a deeper patch of water behind them !

  8. If it is well known for these holes to be at the bottom of slopes why is there not a sign saying beware possible deep holes inat the bottom of the slope which are not visible under water. People from inner cities will not know this factor, I have seen it once before and found out why, in the old days parents would hold their children’s hands same as I did with my two until they were able to swim. Things are so different nowadays parents are so much more relaxed and thinking about other things (I’m not saying this was case this time) in general so many do not see the danger of water. In my book we have to many children dying on our beaches and the young girl who drowned in the last to years was a tragedy but it goes back to what I said about inner cities and not knowing risks. If anything really good comes from this accident is mum was watching and didn’t panic and now has reported it, we need to act now and have notices placed in prominent places warning people of the possibility of holes not visible under the water if they save one life its got too be worth it. Let’s be thankful also it didn’t have terrible consequences. I for one will be emailing the TDC and County Council asking for notices to be put up.

    • Might as well have signs advising parents/ responsible person of toddlers to be close at all times too. Might have made a difference to the poor soul a couple of years ago.

    • The messages are constant and clear. If you want to go into the water at the coast; bathe in an area covered by Lifeguards (or at least be absolutely sure that you know what you are doing).

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