AN INQUEST will be opened into the death of a 32-year-old hero who died saving the life of a five-year-old girl at West Wittering on Saturday.
A post-mortem examination will take place today at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester to determine how the man - who was from Sutton in Surrey - died.
He rescued the girl, who was from London, after she got into difficulty at the busy beach at lunchtime when her inflatable started being carried out on the tide.
The man managed to pass her to another good Samaritan but was found unconscious in the water just 16ft from the shore.
Despite efforts by members of the public and emergency services to resuscitate the man, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sussex Police have confirmed the matter has now been referred to the county coroner and an inquest will be formally opened and adjourned today (Tuesday).
Although some reports said the man who died was Bulgarian, officers said he would be named as soon as his family had been informed.
For the full story of Saturday’s tragedy, see the Chichester Observer on Thursday.
* Were you on West Wittering beach on Saturday? Please give the newsdesk a call on 01243 531313.