Award-winning photographer was swept to her death in freak wave during trip to Scotland

An award-winning photographer who travelled the world with her camera was swept to her death in a freak wave during a trip to Scotland.

French photographer Agnes Proudhon-Smith was on a guided photography trip to the outer Hebrides when a surge of water shot up and dragged her into the sea.

The 50-year-old, who travelled the world with her camera winning many photography awards, was setting up equipment on the rocks on a beach in Harris along with a guide and two other trip members following a risk assessment.

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French photographer Agnes Proudhon-Smith was on a guided photography trip to the outer Hebrides when a surge of water shot up and dragged her into the sea. Picture: PA

Fellow photographers called the maritime coast guard just moments after Agnes was carried away by a rogue wave and disappeared into the sea at around 7.40am on March 20 2019.

Her body was discovered by coastguard helicopter crew on Nisabost Beach below the high water mark 40 minutes later.

She was rushed to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway and died later that morning.

Agnes set up home in Esher, Surrey and captured beautiful photographs throughout the world including in India, Bolivia, Greenland,Iceland and throughout Europe.

The French globetrotter was previously said to have lived life to the fullest and spent her final days doing what she loved most.

Speaking at her inquest at West London Coroners Court, coroner Dr Sean Cummings said: "She was on a photographic trip to the outer Hebrides on the morning of March 20, 2019, and she and members of the trip were setting up equipment on rocks on a beach in Harris.

"A surge of water reportedly shot up in front of them and this dragged her into the sea.

"At about 8.15am on the same day, a body was discovered on Nisabost Beach just below the high water mark.

"She was conveyed to the Western Isles Hospital and at 9.07am life was pronounced extinct.

"A full post mortem examination was carried out and the medical cause of death given was drowning."

Among her achievements, Agnes was a finalist in the National Geographic UK Photo Competition.

Her photograph featured a polar bear guarding its kill in Spitsbergen, an island between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

In a statement read at Agnes' inquest, her husband Steve Smith said: "Agnes drowned while on an organised photographic tour of the Isle of Harris in the Hebrides on March 20.

"Following a risk assessment of the site by the guide, she set up her camera on a rocky promontory together with the guide and the two other members of the group.

"At around 7.40am, she was swept off the rocks by a rogue wave and seemed to be carried into the water before the other members of the group lost sight of her.

"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency were alerted at 7.42am. She was recovered from the beach at 8.22am by coastguard helicopter and taken to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway but was pronounced dead at 9.07am."

Dr Cummings recorded her death as accidental and caused by drowning.

He added: "On the evidence I have, I am going to conclude that Agnes Proudhon-Smith died from a medical cause of death of drowning.

"The conclusion is that she died as a result of an accident."