Sussex

Brighton sea 'dare' deaths: Second body found

Dan Nicholls (left) and Freddie Reynolds (right) Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Dan Nicholls (left) and Freddie Reynolds had stood by the water's edge in Brighton for a dare

A body found on a beach in Sussex has been confirmed as that of a second man who was swept out to sea after standing by the water's edge for a dare.

He was found by a member of the public at Rottingdean, about three and a half miles east of Brighton's Palace Pier where the men were last seen.

Dan Nicholls, 23, from Brighton, was knocked off his feet by a wave in "dangerous" gale force nine conditions.

The body of Freddie Reynolds, 24, was found at Saltdean on Saturday.

'Huge void'

Both men were school friends and used to share a flat together, their families said.

In a statement, Mr Reynolds' family said his loss would leave a "huge void in a lot of people's lives" and described him as "a very loyal and brilliant friend".

Mr Nicholls was described by his family as "very bright" and "well-loved by many".

Image copyright eddie mitchell
Image caption The emergency services searched for the missing men until 04:30 GMT

The pair got into difficulty near Palace Pier at 01:00 GMT on Saturday.

They had been on the beach with three other men, who raised the alarm.

Det Ch Insp Carwyn Hughes said their friends had told how Mr Nicholls was knocked off his feet by a wave, sweeping him out to sea.

"On seeing this, Freddie, with another friend, started to strip and Freddie dived in to rescue Dan but was also swept out.

"Their shocked friends tried to enter the water but were beaten back by the waves," he said.

Det Ch Insp Hughes added that the friends had discussed the dare before seeing the ferocity of the waves.

Image copyright eddie mitchell
Image caption The friends had discussed the dare before seeing the ferocity of the waves, police said

Mr Reynolds' family praised his "bravery" after formally identifying his body.

In a statement they said: "We are devastated but also extremely proud of Freddie and the bravery he showed in trying to save Dan."

'Tragic incident'

Det Ch Insp Hughes said: "We are relieved that the bodies of the two men have been recovered.

"This has been a traumatic weekend for Dan and Freddie's friends and family.

"What was meant to be a bit of fun turned out so tragically with Dan snatched from the water's edge and Freddie bravely diving in to try to save him.

"Our sympathies go to their families, whom we are supporting."

He added: "This a a tragic incident and I urge people to think of their safety and keep away from the sea when it is so dangerous."

The search for the pair had been co-ordinated throughout the night by the coastguard with two all-weather lifeboats, a rescue helicopter and two shoreline rescue teams from Shoreham and Newhaven.

It was called off at 04:30 GMT.

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