Irishman dies after being swept out to sea in Brighton

David Dooley, originally from Tullamore, got into difficulty while walking along beach

David Dooley (38) died in England after being swept out to sea. Photograph: Khrystyna Dooley

David Dooley (38) died in England after being swept out to sea. Photograph: Khrystyna Dooley

 

A 38-year-old Co Offaly man has died in England after being swept out to sea.

David Dooley, originally from Tullamore, 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 were described as “challenging”.

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.

Mr Dooley worked as a railway engineer and was based out of its 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.

'Terrible tragedy'

Gerry Foley, the owner of Windmill pub in Acton, west London, where Mr Dooley was a customer, said Mr Dooley’s death was a “terrible tragedy” as he had recently become a grandfather.

“He had a lot going for him. I only saw him last Saturday. He was in top form. He was on top of the world because his son had great news. He had a child as well,” Mr Foley said.

“He was one of my regulars. He was a musical kind of guy and a good character. If there was a party on, he would pull out a guitar and do a few songs.

“He went to see a friend in Brighton he hadn’t seen for 20 years. They went for a walk along the beach,” he said.

“Seemingly there were there for about 10 minutes. It was a pebble beach. [Mr Dooley] was seen walking towards the water edge and it was dark. He was walking back and the next thing is [his] friend couldn’t see him.

“He probably went down to look at the wave and he might have fallen on the ground. The sea was very choppy and a wave came in and rolled him out.”

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.”