CALLS have been made to upgrade safety at Blackpool seafront following the death of Huddersfield dad Darren Valvona.
The 32-year-old was swept to his death while sitting on stone steps close to the sea at 2.30am on Saturday.
It appears he had ignored a `no entry' sign and was washed from the steps by tumultuous seas despite efforts by his friend, Sol Nicolaou, to save him.
The tragedy has prompted one Blackpool councillor to demand an urgent review of safety measures after it was revealed 16 people have died on the seafront in the last 22 years.
Clr Henry Mitchell believes more highly visible warnings and night patrols are needed to protect revellers.
He said: "We owe it to the people we attract to the resort to make sure they're safe while they're here.
"Keep out notices are strung across the steps to the beach at high tide and night, but in order to prevent a repeat of Saturday's tragedy I think we need more obvious warnings.
"When it's dark and people have been out enjoying the Blackpool nightlife they're not necessarily going to see the signs, let alone take notice of them.
"We need to take a close, urgent look at the situation. It may be we need illuminated signs or night patrols around the time people leave the pubs and clubs."
Clr Mitchell added: "We draw people into the resort to enjoy a night out so we have to take care of them during their stay.
"My heart goes out to the victim's family and friends. It was a real tragedy and a waste of a young life.
"If we can make Blackpool safer as a result then his life may not have been lost in vain."
But coastguard Kevin Olsen, who found Mr Valvona's body on the beach almost three hours after the wave swept him into the stormy sea, said the seafront can never be completely safe.
"There will always be danger where there is water," he said.
"Short of building a 6ft fence along the coast it can never be entirely risk free. The warning chains were up when we arrived.
"It was a case of dreadful timing. It was one of the highest tides of the year and rough water.
"We would always warn people to stay away from the seafront when waves are breaking over them."
Clr Fred Jackson, the council's cabinet member for urban environment, believes robust safety measures are already in place.
He said: "The systems in place usually work, but unfortunately there are occasions when accidents happen.
"A full report of the incident will be prepared for the Public Safety Committee and we will look at any recommendations."
Darren lived on Heaton Road in Paddock with his partner, Melissa Fieldhouse, their eight-year-old son, Joe, and Melissa's three children, Kriston, 16, Arron, 14, and 12-year-old Bethany.
Darren also leaves two daughters - 12-year-old Nicole and seven-year-old Chloe - from a previous relationship with 29-year-old Amanda Jackson who lives in Halifax.
Darren and Amanda lost a daughter, Levi, to meningitis 10 years ago when she was aged just 11 weeks.
* Darren's funeral will take place next Wednesday at 10.30am at the Co-operative Chapel Of Repose on St Thomas' Road, Huddersfield, followed by burial at Lockwood Cemetery.