Sutton man swept to death rescuing child off Sussex beach

  • 28 May 2012
  • From the section England
Helicopter landing on West Wittering beach after man drowned
Image caption The air ambulance was sent to the scene but the man was pronounced dead on the beach

A man who was "tragically" swept to his death after rescuing a five-year-old girl from the sea off West Sussex was from south London, police have said.

The 32-year-old man, from Sutton, and a Guildford woman went into the sea at West Wittering on Saturday to help the girl, who had been caught by the tide.

He passed the child to the woman who was then able to get her to her family.

But Sussex Police said: "Tragically the man was unable to reach the shore himself and was recovered unconscious."

They added: "Despite efforts by members of the public and emergency services to resuscitate the man he was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The family of the man have requested that their privacy is respected at this time."

The girl had been on the beach with her family who are from north west London.

It was first thought that the man was 25 years old and that two children had got into difficulties off the beach near Chichester.

The identity of the man has not been released but police said he was not related to the children.

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