Harrowing Moment a Girl Hugged Her Boyfriend for the Last Time Minutes before He Died

A young boy from Wolverhampton, Central England, was swimming at a beach with two other youngsters when a riptide took him. Resultantly, he suffered brain damage with no hope of recovering, and his family had to let him go.

Life is unpredictable, and we never know which moment will be our last. The family and friends of a 16-year-old boy experienced a nightmare when he drowned at Gwynedd coast, in the northwest of Wales. 

Blake Ward lived with his 71-year-old grandfather, Richard Salter. His aunt, Barbara Blackwell, described him as a lively, fun-loving boy who talked non-stop and was always brimming with joy.

[Left] Stephanie and Blake sharing a kiss. [Right] Stephanie lies next to his boyfriend in his final moments. | Photo: facebook.com/blake.ward.3591 | facebook.com/newsnercom

Ward was waiting to collect his GCSE results from Hillcrest School and Community College, Dudley, England when something unfortunate happened. He was rescued after drowning on the beach at Tywyn, south Gwynedd, Wales, on July 31, 2018. 

The teenager was immediately air-lifted and taken to the Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, where he stayed on life support for four days. The doctors told his family he had suffered serious brain damage, and there was nothing more they could do. 

Soon afterward, his family made the tough decision of taking him off life support on August 4, 2018. Ward was fortunate to have his loved ones around in his final moments. 

His girlfriend, Stephanie Ray, lay next to him on his hospital bed and hugged him warmly minutes before he died. In an emotional message to her boyfriend, Ray shared: 

“Blake was someone special to me and we had something special and we will always have that. Fly high, my baby boy, and I’m gonna make you proud. Love you and I always will (sic).” 

Two other youngsters, a boy and girl, who got into trouble alongside Ward, managed to survive by reaching the shore. Reportedly, Ward was swept further out to the sea and couldn’t be saved in time. 


North West Wales senior coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones shared that strangers on the beach rushed to save the drowning teenagers, giving them CPR. Jones also said the currents were rough and strong and proved dangerous.

Thereafter, an inquest deemed Ward’s death accidental. Jones revealed that warning signs had been placed, but it was difficult to put them after every 20 to 30 yards distance. 

He advised people to beware of the dangers at the coastline and not to jeopardize their lives. While two men in a kayak tried to reach Ward, they lost the battle against the rising waves. 

Netizens leave comments on Newsner’s post about Blake Ward’s death. | Photo: facebook.com/newsnercom

Beach Warden, John Watson, revealed warning signs had been erected, but people generally ignored them. He said he called for help after seeing the three youngsters in trouble. One of the other teenagers, Michelle Evans, recalled:

“All I remember is going under water and coming back up. This happened several times. I came up and suddenly couldn’t see Blake any more.”

Even though they lost their grandchild and nephew, Ward’s grandfather and aunt said they didn’t blame anyone for the incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ward, and we hope nobody has to suffer something of this magnitude. 

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