Devastated mum urges others to be aware of dangers after death of son in sea at North Foreland

Matthew Collins was a loved son, brother, dad, grandad and partner

A mum from Manston is urging people to stay out of the sea unless they are in a safe area after her son died in the water off North Foreland.

Melanie Collins-Brett says her family is in ‘endless pain’ over the loss of dad-of-six Matthew Collins who had gone in for a swim at the secluded spot after being at the gym with friends.

The 38-year-old was staying in Thanet to visit his children with former partner Sarah Whittaker and his youngest son, born just four weeks ago, with new partner Lucy Smith.

Proud dad (Photo from Melanie Collins-Brett )

Matthew, who was also a grandad of three, suffered a heart attack but it is not yet known whether this was before or after he got into trouble in the water.

Melanie says she wants others to be aware of the dangers of swimming in cold and rough seas. She said: “Matthew went swimming in a secluded area, there were no lifeguards or help. The sea was dangerous that day, neighbours saw the helicopter and lifeboat and said it was extremely rough.

“If we can save one life through Matthew, I’d say just don’t go into the sea when it is like that, Look for the flags and for were there are lifeguards. Otherwise do not swim as it could be your last time and we don’t want anyone else going through what we are going through, the endless pain is just awful.”

(Photo from Melanie Collins-Brett )

Former Hartsdown Academy student Matthew had previously worked in sales and was looking forward to joining a new gym and spending time with his children.

Melanie said her son, who was one of four brothers, suffered PTSD following an  attack some years ago but was going forward with his life. She said : “He was lovely, everyone who knew him loved him. He was a kind, caring and loving son and brother, a dad and a grandad to Dottie, Mabel and Montana. He was living in Maidstone but came here as he wanted to see his children.

“He was an all-round good guy and was just trying to get on after being in a terrible dark place.”

(Photo from Melanie Collins-Brett )

Matthew’s step-sister Debbi has set up a fundraiser to help pay funeral costs and provide some financial help for his children, Jazmine, Lacey, Melody, Junior, Honey and Ronnie.

A young Matthew (Photo from Melanie Collins-Brett )

On the fundraising page she says: “Matthew was a well loved son, dad, grandad and brother. He has 6 beautiful children and 3 beautiful grandchildren. He was the most loving, caring gentleman and was loved by many. As you can imagine this has come as a massive shock and was unexpected so I’m asking if we could all pull together and give Matt the best send off that he deserves.

Melanie with sons Jamie, Matthew, Tobias and Bobby

“Any funds raised will help pay towards his funeral cost and if there is any left over it will be split between his babies to give them some support.”

Find the fundraiser by clicking here

Matthew’s funeral service will be held on November 7th at 11,30am at Margate crematorium. Melanie says the family would be grateful for any donations made to the Kent air ambulance or the fundraiser. She hopes to reach as many of his friends as possible so they can attend the service.


  1. A tragic death. Take heed of Melanie’s advice on swimming g in cold, rough water.
    It’s a good idea to take out some form of life insurance, especially if you’ve got responsibilities.

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