A grandfather drowned today in a New Year’s Day tragedy – as his family tried to retrieve a dog’s ball from the rough sea in a Cornish cove.
A witness to the incident said a woman aged about 50 had gone into the crashing waves to get the ball but got into difficulty.
Her mother’s partner, who was in his 70s, then tried to help her but was swept out by the force of the waves and drowned.
A woman resident, who lives by the cove at Porthmellon near Mevagissey, Cornwall, did not want to be named as she was still shaken by the ordeal but spoke about what she saw.
The mother said: “The family had only arrived yesterday on New Year’s Eve.
“There was the man in his 70s, the woman who was 50 or early 50s and a girl aged about eight to ten and they had two dogs with them.”
“The lady had gone to retrieve the ball from the water and the guy went to help her.
“I believe he was deaf and someone was shouting to him to grab a buoy but he could not hear him. He was just drowning and appeared unconscious.
“Two coastguards used ropes to try and reach him but the sea was too strong. ”
The Bristow helicopter then arrived and winched the man from the sea but he had drowned.
“The lady was pulled from the water by the valiant efforts of a member of the public and flown to hospital because there were concerns of her suffering from secondary drowning.
“Her husband who had not been on the slipway with them, then arrived.
“It is the first time in all my years here that someone has drowned.
“We have rescued people before because they are not aware of the dangers. If you say anything they think you are a busybody.”