A man, 26, was killed in a ‘heartbreaking’ jet ski accident in front of beach-goers bringing the bank holiday death toll to six.
Emergency services were called to Worthing Beach, about 10 miles west of Brighton, yesterday evening at around 6pm.
Witnesses and the coastguard said the man’s jet ski overturned while out at sea and he struggled to keep his head above water.
Beach-goer and keen swimmer Tracy Thompson told The Argus that the rider may have been dealing with blustery winds and fast currents.
‘I didn’t see him come off it, just saw him in the water,’ she told the local newspaper.
‘It was far, far away when I saw him and realised that he wouldn’t get to it or be able to swim to the shore.’
Offshore winds may have blown him even further out to sea. Tracy said: ‘I knew there was no going back.’
‘Heartbreaking watching him while helpless on the shore,’ she added.
‘So sad, so young. He was only having fun.
‘The sea can be so cruel, even with a wetsuit and life jacket it still wasn’t enough for him. Tragic.’
Sussex Police told Metro.co.uk that the man died later that evening in hospital.
‘Emergency services responded to a report of a medical incident in the sea at Worthing beach, shortly before 6pm on Monday, May 29,’ a spokesperson said.
‘A 26-year-old man was taken to hospital, where sadly he was later declared deceased.
‘His next of kin have been informed. There were no suspicious circumstances. A report will be prepared for HM Coroner.’
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘HM Coastguard, Sussex Police, South East Ambulance Service and an air ambulance responded to reports of a man separated from his jet ski off Goring-by-Sea yesterday, 29 May.
‘At around 6pm, a Coastguard Rescue Team from Littlehampton and a lifeboat from Littlehampton RNLI were sent to the scene.’
South East Ambulance Service has been approached for comment.
The incident came only a day after a paddleboarder in Worthing died after suffering a medical incident in the water.
At about 5:40pm on Sunday, as the south coast wound down after a day of sweltering 24°C sun, a man in his 70s was treated by ambulance workers.
He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
At least four other people died across the bank holiday weekend, including a swimmer during the Swansea Triathlon and two men at Torbay, Devon.
A schoolboy also died after he and his friends struggled while swimming in Cumbria’s River Eden.
Lewis Michael Kirkpatrick, 15, was found dead 1:30pm on Saturday.
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