UK & World News

  • 12 January 2014, 13:09

Man Who Saved Two Sons Was 'Amazing Father'

The family of a man who died after rescuing his two children from strong currents at an Australian beach says they are "devastated" by his death.

AndrewPriestley, from Leicestershire, died in hospital after getting into difficulty at Burrill Beach, around 155 miles south of Sydney on Australia's east coast.

The 44-year-old was with his family when the tragedy happened at around noon on Friday.

"The family of Andrew are devastated about his death in Australia. He died after saving his children," the family said in a statement released by the Foreign Office.

"Andrew was the most amazing husband and father that any family could wish for.

"The support and messages we have received have been overwhelming and we are thankful for that.

"It is heartbreakingly impossible at this moment to imagine our lives without him. We would ask that our privacy is respected at such a sad time."

Mr Priestley lifted his sons onto a surfboard before onlookers ran into the water and brought them to safety.

He was then overcome by waves and was unconscious by the time emergency services arrived.

Police and paramedics tried to revive him on the beach. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Milton Hospital.

A statement from New South Wales Police Force said: "Emergency services were called to Burrill Beach just after midday, where they found a man unconscious.

"The 44-year-old was taken to Milton Hospital where he was pronounced dead."

It was the second drowning on the beach in two months, after a Filipino national died there in December.

:: Watch Sky News live on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

Advertisement