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A man has died after falling off the sea wall into the water at Peacehaven.
A construction worker, working on the Longsea Outfall pipeline, waded in to try to rescue the 44-year-old man. He managed to get hold of him but lost his grip when he was pounded by the waves.
Coastguard Rescue officers from Newhaven were sent to the scene. The Coastguard Rescue helicopter from Lee-on the-Solent and the Newhaven lifeboat were both scrambeld.
The tragedy happened Saturday morning at Friars' Bay, Peacehaven.
A spokesman at the Solent Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said: "We understand that a man fell into the water whilst out for a walk with a member of his family.
"A group of construction workers went to the man’s assistance by throwing life rings into the water and due to a large surge the man lost hold of the life ring.
"One of the construction workers entered the water to recover the man and pull him back to the groyne; the waves then broke again on them and the man was lost from the grasp of the construction worker."
The victim was airlifted to the Eastbourne District General hospital but died an hour later.
Sussex police say they are not treating his death as suspicious.