THE MAN who died whilst saving a five-year old girl from the water at West Wittering beach on Saturday (May 26) is named today as 32-year old Plamen Petkova, of Westmoreland Drive, Sutton, Surrey.
A postmortem held today at St Richards Hospital, Chichester, found the cause of death to be drowning, and an inquest has been formally opened and adjourned.
On Saturday at 12.10pm the ambulance service informed Sussex Police of a report of an incident on West Wittering beach.
Mr Petkova, a Bulgarian national, and a Guildford woman entered the water after the five-year old girl, not known to them, was being carried away from the beach by the tide.
He was able to reach the child and pass her on to the woman who was able to bring the child safely back to her family on the shore.
Tragically Mr Petkova was unable to reach the shore himself and was recovered unconscious from the water by others at the scene.
Despite efforts by members of the public and emergency services to resuscitate he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The girl was on the beach with her family who are from North West London.
The Guildford woman was with a family group separate from those of the deceased and the child.
A Sussex Police spokesman said; “It is clear that this was a tragic accident, and there is no further police investigation. There will be a Coroner’s inquest at a later date yet to be set.”