Cornwall

Newquay deaths: Dad and two-year-old killed by rising sea

Rudy and McKayla Bruynius Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption McKayla Bruynius died at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children four days after being swept into the sea in Newquay

A father and his two-year-old daughter died after being swept into the sea in Cornwall in rapidly changing weather conditions, an inquest has heard.

Rudy Bruynius and McKayla, from Morden in south London, had been fishing at Fistral beach in Newquay while on holiday with family on 19 August 2016.

A large wave knocked them off the rocks. Mr Bruynius, 33, died that night and McKayla four days later.

An inquest in Truro has concluded their deaths were accidental.

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The inquest heard the family had been fishing in the same location the day before because Mr Bruynius had been recommended the spot by a local on a previous trip to Newquay.

Scramble to safety

His wife Lisinda Bruynius said how surprised she had been by the sudden change in weather conditions.

"We were fishing off the rocks and within a short time the waves became bigger and started to splash us."

When the first big wave struck Mr Bruynius was standing with his wife on the rocks with their two sons, aged six and 10, and McKayla, whom he had just removed from her pushchair.

Mr Bruynius was knocked into the sea with McKayla in his arms. Mrs Bruynius was also swept into the sea at the south end of Fistral beach, but was rescued with minor injuries.

Their sons managed to scramble up the rocks to safety, the inquest heard.

Image copyright PAul Blatchford
Image caption Lisinda Bruynius said she was shocked at how quickly the sea conditions had changed

In a statement, Mrs Bruynius told the inquest the sea had appeared to rise by about 6ft (1.83m) within five minutes.

She described how "a mass of water came over the top of Rudy, McKayla and I. It came from absolutely nowhere."

They were in the process of moving up the rocks, when a second wave hit, knocking them into the water.

She said: "I could hear Rudy screaming for help and I could hear the boys screaming for help.

"I glanced across and could no longer see McKayla in Rudy's arms. Rudy appeared to be floating in an upright position with his head back.

"I swam over to Rudy but he was unconscious."

Onlookers immediately called emergency services and within minutes, the RNLI had launched two lifeboats, and jetskis from Fistral beach and located all three.

'Died from drowning'

Mr Bruynius was declared dead just before midnight and McKayla was transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital but died on 23 August.

The family said they hoped others could learn from what had happened to them and a fundraising page to support the survivors has raised nearly £50,000.

Det Con Jarrod Yewen said the sea conditions had changed without warning: "That day it had been sunny but there was a developing weather front coming in.

"I don't think anyone could have foreseen the weather conditions were going to change so quickly. The swell effectively doubled in size where they were fishing," he said.

Cornwall Coroner, Dr Emma Carlyon, concluded: "All evidence suggests this was a tragic incident as they were washed into the sea when conditions changed dramatically."

She told the hearing they were in the sea for about 15 minutes, and had died from drowning.

Mr Bruynius and McKayla died during a weekend in which a total of six people were killed in tragedies around the coast.

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