Brighton crew describes drowned man rescue attempt

Lifeboat crew in stormy seas
Image caption The lifeboat crew said the rescue attempt was hampered by breaking waves

A lifeboat volunteer has described the treacherous conditions in which crews attempted to rescue a father who had gone in to the sea save his dogs.

Kevin Reynolds, 52, was pulled to safety at around 1215 GMT on Saturday but died three hours later in hospital.

The RNLI were at the scene within minutes but were hampered by 10ft (3m) high breaking waves.

Mark Bell, a Brighton lifeboat helmsman, said: "It was the roughest conditions I've seen in a long time."

He added: "On scene was a very inhospitable place to be, close in shore, with heavy breaking surf, and made all the worse by the terrible incident that led to us being called."

'Heavy conditions'

Mr Reynolds, from Brighton, and his daughter, followed the dogs into the sea off the groyne near Palace Pier.

The girl was quickly recovered from the water, but her father was located about 98ft (30m) offshore, near the pier.

Mr Bell said: "The lifeboat made numerous attempts to reach the man, running inshore as close as possible, before turning head to sea to lift the man onboard.

Image caption Mr Reynolds was taken to hospital by air ambulance but died three hours later in hospital

"With each attempt, the lifeboat was unable to get close enough as it battled with the heavy conditions.

"Eventually, the crew managed to reach the man and pull him aboard the lifeboat where they immediately started CPR and administered emergency care."

The coastguard said one of the Jack Russell dogs returned to the beach. The body of the other dog was washed up on the beach on Sunday.

Mr Reynold's daughter was treated in hospital but she was not thought to be physically harmed.

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