An online fundraising effort to help the family of an Irishman who died after being swept out to sea in Brighton during Storm Callum has almost reached the halfway mark of £5,000.
Friends and colleagues of David Dooley, 38, originally from Tullamore, are aiming for £10,000 to ease the family’s burden of repatriation and burial costs.
Mr Dooley was walking along the beach on the Brighton seafront in the early hours of Saturday morning when he got into difficulty.
Conditions in the aftermath of Storm Callum, marked by high winds battering the coastline, were described by officials and forecasters as “challenging”.
Witnesses reported seeing him struggling in the waves on Brighton Beach at 1.21am.
The coastguard and the Sussex police were called to the scene. An RNLI crew located Mr Dooley and tried to revive him using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but were not successful.
A number of friends and family of Mr Dooley – who recently became a grandfather – have paid special tribute to his memory following the tragedy.
The Windmill, a pub in Acton, London where he frequented when in London, wrote on their Facebook page: “Our friend David Dooley pass away yesterday. In a tragic accident in Brighton. Lord have mercy on him. RIP David.”
Mr Dooley worked as a railway engineer and was based out of a depot in Crawley, Sussex, near Brighton.
He went for a meal and some drinks with a friend in Brighton last Friday night and was walking along the beach at about 1.15am on Saturday morning when he got into difficulty.
A statement from Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police received a report of a man in the sea near West Street, Brighton, at 1.21am on Saturday (October 13th).
“Coastguards, police and the South East Coast Ambulance Service attended the scene. The 38-year-old man was retrieved from the water but was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
“Next of kin have been informed and the matter has been passed to the Coroner’s Office.”
The RNLI in Brighton tweeted: “The volunteer @RNLI crew launched at 01.52 Saturday to a person in the water between the piers. The person was located [and] recovered in challenging conditions.
“CPR commenced until handed over to @SECAmbulance. Sadly he couldn’t be revived. Thoughts are with the family and friends.”
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