Sutton man drowns on Sussex beach while rescuing a four-year-old
9:42am Monday 28th May 2012 in News
A man from Sutton drowned after rescuing a four-year-old child from the sea.
Sussex Ambulance Service and Sussex police responded to a report of an incident on West Wittering beach, near Chichester, just after midday on Saturday, May 26.
Beachgoeers have described how they watched in horror as the man drowned after rescuing the child.
The 32-year-old man was caught in an undercurrent moments after pulling the four-year-old child on a rubber ring out of harm’s way.
The child, not related to the man, had drifted away from the shore on a tide on Saturday morning.
Two men leapt into the sea to save the youngster. While one escaped unharmed the other was pulled unconscious from the water.
One witness said: “The rescue team did everything they could and didn’t give up.
“The man died a hero and should be known as a hero.”
Another witness said: "Me and my family saw the incident – a tragic sight and a really sad time on such a beautiful day.
"I feel for the family and praise the rapid response of the life guards and emergency services."
A witness, a father from Brighton who asked not to be named, said: “We got there at about 11am.
“When we arrived the paramedics were there and were attempting to resuscitate him.
“They tried to resuscitate him for about an hour.
“They were pumping water out of his lungs and there were about three or four ambulances there.
“Lifeguards were surrounding him and I think when the helicopter landed people were still optimistic.
“But sadly it did not take him away and he passed away.
“The emergency services obviously did their best for him.”
He said he understood that the man had been swimming near where there was a red flag indicating an undercurrent in the water, adding: “After it happened people were told not to swim there.”
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