Tributes have been paid to a father who died after being swept out to sea by a large wave in Newquay.
Rudy Brunynius died in the sea off Fistral Beach, Newquay, after a major rescue operation was launched to save his family who were pulled in to the sea from rocks on Friday, August 19, at about 5.20pm.
His two-year-old daughter remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Friends of the Brunynius family are now raising thousands of pounds to help them.
Rudy died after being washed off a rock by a strong wave, despite the efforts of volunteers from the RNLI and coastguards to save him, while his wife Lisinda, who was also swept into the sea, was rescued.
Their daughter McKayla, two, was rescued from the sea and is currently at Royal Cornwall Hospital fighting for her life on a ventilator.
A crowdfunding page has been set up to help the family dragged into the sea in Newquay and more than £5,000 was raised in the first few hours.
Family friend Madeleine Jansen Van Noordwyk said: “Our children go to school together and my girls are the same age as her boys so they spend a lot of time together.
“It is just dreadful and Rudy was such an amazing person to know so it is such a shock.”
She said the couple were from South Africa and lived in Morden in Surrey, where Rudy had recently set up his own gardening business.
Police said the family of five were on the rocks when they were washed into the sea by a large wave around 5.20pm.
Rudy and Lisinda and their three children were on holiday in the Newquay area when the incident happened.
A statement issued by the police, said: “The RNLI lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter, lifeguards from North Fistral, police, air ambulance and ambulance crews attended the scene.
“The mother and father, both in their 30’s, were rescued from the water by RNLI lifeguards.
“Lifeguards carried out CPR on the man before he was airlifted by the air ambulance to Treliske Hospital. He died in hospital yesterday evening.
“The woman was also flown to Treliske where she remains having sustained minor injuries.
“A two-year-old girl was recovered from the sea by an RNLI lifeboat before being flown to hospital where she remains.
“The two other children managed to get back onto the rocks and were located by the Coastguard. They sustained minor injuries before being taken by ambulance to Treliske.”
Madeleine said Lisinda’s parents were trying to come from South Africa but had to get visas before they could travel.
The money raised would be used to help Lisinda in the short term and also in the longer term if she decided “to go home to her support system” in South Africa, she added.
“Anything that can be raised will help,” said Madelein.
On the JustGiving page it says: “My dear friend has had the worst happen on her family holiday in Cornwall.
“Her husband, herself and their little girl were swept off a rock by a freak wave.
“Rudy unfortunately didn’t survive and McKayla is fighting for her life on a ventilator. She is in a critical condition.
“Lisinda and her two young boys are left in Cornwall, with no financial support, and no emergency measures in place yet. Can we please help them and please pray for these lovely people, my dear friends.
Much love Madeleine.”
Since the page was set up, hundreds of people have donated, both those who know the family and those who have heard about the tragedy on the news and on social media.
One Newquay resident, Jason, left a message with his donation. It said: “Your all in our thoughts, such a tragedy God bless, hope this in some way helps you’ve got the people of Cornwall and indeed the country at your side xx”
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward with information about the incident.
Officers will be at Newquay police station tomorrow from 10am until 2pm specifically to speak to anyone who has information and can attend.
Anyone who cannot attend the station but may have information that can help the investigation is asked to contact police via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 101, quoting log number 681 of 19/08/16 or enquiry number EN/16703/16.