AN elderly man who was rescued from the sea in Lyme Regis has died.

The man, believed to be a holidaymaker, was spotted in difficulties in the shallow water on main beach on Wednesday just before 4pm.

The incident happened during the town’s busy Lifeboat Week.

Hundreds of people were cleared from the beach to allow the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to land.

The elderly gentleman was brought back to shore after getting into difficulties. He was then taken to Dorset County Hospital, fighting for his life at the time.

A spokesman for the Coroner’s Office confirmed yesterday however (Thursday) that the man had since died.

He said: “We have had a report from the hospital that this person has sadly passed away. The coroner will be investigating the circumstances around the death.”

Gunilla and Alan Emneby initially came to the man’s rescue, helping to pull him out of the sea.

They had heard someone nearby shouting for help to try and drag the man out of the water.

Mrs Emneby said: “There were two doctors and two nurses on the beach who rushed to help and started CPR.

“I went to get blankets to put under his head and just helped the doctors with whatever they wanted.

“Then the lifeguard came and he had all the equipment, an oxygen mask and defibrillator.

“The ambulance took about a quarter of an hour to get here but it felt longer.

“Then the helicopter arrived.”

She said it appeared as if the man, who she thought was in his mid 70s, had swallowed a lot of water.

She said everybody was very professional and everything that could be done was done.

She said the coastguard officers were comforting the man’s wife and daughter, who were also on the scene.

She added: “They didn’t sound like they were local, their accent was maybe Russian or Polish.”

The couple, who also came to Lyme for Lifeboat Week last year, said it was a very shocking incident.

“It is not something you expect to see on such a lovely day,” said Mrs Emneby.

Mr Emneby added: “He got all the help he possibly could. Everybody worked very hard on him.”