Local Geordie Man Drowns in Amsterdam
Author: Emma Robson
Newcastle man dies in Amsterdam after jumping off party boat at ‘Bounce Til I Die Event.’
Neil Stewart from Benwell, was visiting the Netherlands with his fiancé when he drowned after jumping of a party boat in the North Sea Canal in November 2017. Stewart 30, was visiting the Dutch capital after being given the trip as a surprise from his fiancé Chelsea Dixon which included flights, hotel and tickets to the DTID party event. Dixon told the inquiry that the couple had flown out to meet friends that had gotten engaged the previous day.
The couple had enjoyed drinks and a space cake during the day and coroner Karen Wilks also found cocaine in Stewart’s system during the autopsy. The coroner was also told that the wind farm rigger was seen involved in an altercation in the smoking area at the event and had reportedly been separated from the other partygoers as security tried to calm his down. The coroner was also told that the wind farm rigger was seen involved in an altercation in the smoking area at the event and had reportedly been separated from the other partygoers as security tried to calm his down.
Ms Dixon told the hearing she didn’t see the altercation but was calming him down when he went to get a chair so she could sit with him, and he vanished. She spoke about the moment she realised he must have gone overboard, “I realised Neil was gone,” said Ms Dixon. “I realised he must have been in the water. There’s nowhere else he could physically have been.”
Kirsty Green a witness issued a statement saying she believed saw Stewart jump deliberately from the boat, “He was stood alone, smoking and the next thing I saw was him in the air, it looked like it was slow motion, I saw him smiling or laughing. I then panicked and called security.”
Paul Armes an offshore supervisor who worked with Stewart was also on board the party boat and wept when he told the hearing he tried desperately to save his friend. Armes, who is trained in first aid and water rescue realised someone was in the water when the ship stopped. He said another guest on the ship had told him his friend had climbed three steps and jumped in. He reportedly told the crew he was water rescue qualified and asked the crew to deploy the emergency safety boat on top of the vessel but was told that it was not safe to deploy it.
The hearing also heard from a surprise witness who had come forward after seeing the case on social media. Angelica Hindle had been aboard the party board on the same night as Stewart and stated that she saw him “Me and my friend were sat smoking. I looked to my left-hand side and there was a man that I now know to be Neil sat there. There was a security guard sat with him. Neil was sat, he was calm, and the security guard turned around for a split second. As he did that, Neil dived over the side of the boat and then he hit the water and the boat propelled him back because it was going at such a speed.”
The father of two’s body was found two weeks later. His mother Alma Stewart thanked the witness who came forward adding ‘Neil’s children will now know… how their father died thanks to you and I cannot thank you enough, it means so so much to me personally.’
Condolences are with the family at this time.
Beth Mead left out of England Women’s World Cup squad
Euro 2022 top goal scorer Beth Mead is not included in England Women’s World Cup squad.
The 27-year-old Arsenal forward has not played since November having been a major doubt for the competition.
This comes after an anterior cruciate ligament injury which she still has not fully recovered from.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman has named the 23-player squad for this summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Tottenham striker Beth England, who has not been involved since last summer’s Euro competition is included.
Chelsea centre-back Millie Bright, who has been out with a knee injury since March, has made the 23-player squad.
Sarina Wiegman confirmed Bright would captain the team in the absence of injured defender Leah Williamson.
Wiegman went on to say she never thought Beth Mead would be fit in time for the tournament, saying: “She’s so positive and going well, but the timescale she had we would have taken so many risks to get to the World Cup
“I’m not willing to take that risk to push her too much and she gets injured again. We need to take care of players.”
England play Haiti in their opening match on 22nd July in Australia where they look to build on their success following Euro 2022.
Best of North East
Plans for STACK Whitley Bay unveiled for former Empress Ballroom
A landmark Tyneside venue is set for a new lease of life as a STACK drinking and dining destination if new planning proposals are given the green light.
Newcastle leisure company Danieli Group has submitted plans to create a new STACK development in the former Empress Ballroom in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, which was originally part of the town’s Spanish City. If successful, the business hopes to return the 113-year-old building to its former position at the forefront of the seaside town’s entertainment scene.
Built in 1910, the Empress Ballroom regularly hosted more than 750 dancers before going on to become the Carlton Club bingo hall. It has lain empty for some time and fallen into disrepair – yet the Stack submission would deliver a new future for the building while also injecting a boost to the local economy.
Plans by current owner Mark Holmes to transform it into a leisure and community venue were delayed by Covid and now, although planning permission for a leisure venue is in place, Danieli Group has applied for a variation of the plans to create Stack Whitley Bay. The plans, to be submitted this week, include the creation of an external roof terrace together with the premises licence application. If successful the hope is to continue along the same route as other successful STACK sites, with the inclusion of a stage for live entertainment and space for street food and drink outlets.
Neill Winch, CEO of the Danieli Group, believes STACK would be a great addition to the town. He said: “Not only will it bring a new dimension to the existing leisure offering but, subject to planning and licensing, it will bring an underutilised building – and much-loved heritage asset – back into use. We are delighted to hopefully be able to continue to build STACK’s strong presence in the North East with this new and exciting venture.”
Owner Mark Holmes added: “When we bought the Empress Ballroom, we had a vision for the magnificent venue, it’s really a hidden treasure in the Spanish City. Our plans were good, but now Neill Winch and STACK have turbo charged these plans and I am convinced they will deliver the quality venue that will benefit Whitley Bay, residents, and the whole community.”
If the application is successful, Whitley Bay will become the latest in a fast-growing portfolio of STACKS being created in the North East and beyond. A year after the closure of its original STACK Newcastle on the site of the former Odeon Cinema, Seaburn in Sunderland continues to go from strength to strength, while developments in Durham, Middlesbrough, Bishop Auckland, Carlisle and a new site in Newcastle city centre are also being created.
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Eamonn Holmes claims ITV were involved in ‘total cover-up’ over Phillip Schofield scandal
Eamonn Holmes claims there was a ‘total cover-up’ on ITV’s This Morning show over Phillip Schofield’s affair with a younger male colleague.
The 63-year-old presenter has accused Schofield of ‘toxicity’ amid the furore over the culture of the programme.
Holmes spoke about Schofield’s affair on GB News and alleged that “those in authority” had to have known what was going on. He said: “It’s a total cover-up. Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they could dodge a bullet with this.
“Which they do, and they do constantly, because with Schofield talking about those who speak about against him, namely me, Amanda Holden, and you (Dan Wooton), you’ll be included in the toxicity that goes on. Dr Ranj, of course, as well. And you simply sit there and think ‘No mate, you’ve had it all your way for too long’.”
Phillip Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday (26th May) and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair.
Following this revelation, some former This Morning employees have spoken out in criticism of the culture of the broadcaster.
Dr Ranj Singh who was the resident doctor on the show for some time slammed the show’s “toxic” culture, saying he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago whilst working there and says he felt like he was “managed out” for whistleblowing.
In an Instagram post, Schofield hit back at the critics saying that there was “no toxicity” on This Morning, adding: “I hope you have noticed that it’s the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice.”
Referring to Schofield’s comments in an interview with Dan Wooton on GB News on Monday (29th May), Holmes accused Schofield of “toxicity”. He said: “I think that Phillip is absolutely right about the toxicity. But my friend, the toxicity is not with me, Dan Wooton, or anyone else, the toxicity is with you”.
He said that Schofield “created an atmosphere” on This Morning “where people hated him”, adding: “This nonsense that he wrote today about toxicity, about how (This Morning) is a happy place or whatever, holy god, what planet does this man live on?”
“He created an atmosphere where people hated him. People would avoid him in the corridor. He didn’t look at anybody, didn’t know anybody’s name. Holly doesn’t know people’s names either. This is legendary within the production team, how distant they are, and how they just don’t care.”
Asked after a trailer for Holmes’ GB News interview had aired but before it had been played in full at around 10:30pm, a spokesperson for Schofield said: “Phillip has no comment”.
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