Sheffield gran drowned on ‘dream holiday’

Jane Whittington
Jane Whittington

A Sheffield gran drowned on a luxury family holiday in India as her horrified partner battled in vain to save her life.

Jane Whittington, aged 58, from Birley, was on an extended holiday in the resort of Goa with her partner Steve Cooper, sister and brother-in-law when tragedy struck.

Jane Whittington

Jane Whittington

The couples had been on a boat trip and Jane, a former home carer for Sheffield Council, had just had a massage on a beach when she took a dip in the sea with Steve and got into difficulty in the water.

Kirsty Barber, partner of Jane’s son, Max Ellis, said: “All we know is she had a lovely day on a fishing trip, had a massage on a beach, went swimming and then a wave took her. Steve managed to get her out of the water but could not save her.”

The couples were on a four-month holiday in the same resort they had visited for years and which Jane called her ‘second home’.

They were due to return home this weekend, but instead Jane was cremated in Goa earlier this week.

Jane Whittington

Jane Whittington

Her heartbroken relatives, including daughter Donna McGrail, 40, son Max, 37 and five grandchildren, are now planning to return later in the year to scatter her ashes.

They said they were devastated Jane, who ‘lived life to the full’, never got to meet her newborn granddaughter, Betsy McGrail, who was born while the ‘much loved’ grandmother was on her dream holiday.

They are planning to celebrate her life at a gathering at The New Inn, Hollinsend Road, Gleadless, on Saturday, March 14 from 4pm.

Kirsty, 35, said Jane had been returning to Goa for holidays for years.

She said: “She loved it over there, she called it her second home and each time she went she stayed for longer and longer.

“Jane said that if she ever passed away over there it was a nice place to die and her wish was to stay there, which is why her ashes will be scattered there.
Jane loved it there, she loved the easy, relaxed way of life. She felt part of the community and volunteered at a dog rescue place.”

She said Jane was ‘always laughing, always happy and lived life to the full’.

Kirsty said: “She lived every day like it was going to be her last. Everyone is devastated, absolutely devastated.”

Jane, whose former surname was Ellis, spent a number of years living in Walkley, before moving to Birley.

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