Photo of 'hero' son taken moments before he was swept out to sea while saving mum's life

Sam Ord took this picture of her son moments before he was swept out to sea and died

A mother has released a heartbreaking photo of her son taken moments before he was swept out to sea and died while saving her life.

Sam Ord was taking a post-Sunday lunch walk with her son, Ross Parker, at low tide on Hive beach in Bridport, Dorset, when a wave knocked her down on 3 November.

Her 24-year-old son grabbed his mother but another big wave came in and swept him out to sea, while pushing Ms Ord back onto the beach.

A large search operation was launched by the coastguard with boats and helicopter but they could not find him.

Ross was Sam Ord's only son and the pair were very close after his father died when he was 10

His body was found on the beach the following morning.

Ms Ord has now released a picture she took just moments before tragedy struck, showing her only child who she called her "hero".

She said: "He was holding me down to stop me getting washed into the sea.

"He was knelt down with his knee on my chest and I've got bruises on my arms from where he was holding my arms.

"Water was coming over us, in our mouths and noses, and I actually said to him 'I'm going to die'.

"He said 'no you're not mum, you're f*****g not' and he started shouting for help."

She said she does not remember him being pulled away from her but as the water came over them he said: "I'm sorry mum."

The next thing she knew she was on the beach and taken into an ambulance where she remained as the emergency services searched for her son.

Ms Ord added: "Up until about 6.30pm I was hoping they'd find him but when it got to that time I honestly got this feeling that I can't describe - I've never had it before - but I knew he was gone.

"For me, I think he went at half past six as I felt something die inside me."

Ross Parker's body ended up on Hive Beach the day after he was swept out to sea

She said he had "found his happy place" working at a boutique hotel in Dorset and meeting his girlfriend, Kiah, after moving to Dorset from Leigh, Greater Manchester, two months before.

Ms Ord, whose husband Alex died when her son was 10 years old, said she is struggling but the fact her son died saving her is keeping her going.

She added: "My first thought was I wish he'd let me go as he had everything to live for.

"But then I wouldn't want him to be going through what I'm going through, so part of me wishes it had taken us both."

Ms Ord said her son had told her he was going to stay in Dorset because he loved it so much and told her she could join him when she retired.

She is planning his funeral in Howe Bridge, Greater Manchester, and has asked mourners to wear either Manchester City shirts, WWE colours or colours of American football team the Green Bay Packers, as they were all teams and sports he loved.

An inquest hearing held yesterday was told that Mr Parker's cause of death was drowning.

The inquest was adjourned for further inquiries.