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POLICE say they are treating the death of a man who drowned rescuing a little girl from the sea in West Wittering as a tragic accident.

The 32-year-old, from Sutton, Surrey, managed to get the five-year-old safely to the shore by passing her to a woman who then took her to her mother.

Unfortunately he was unable to get back to shore and had to be pulled from the water. He was pronounced dead on the beach just after midday on Saturday.

The rescued girl was from London.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: ‘It is clear that this was a tragic accident, and there is no further police investigation. The matter is being referred to the coroner’s officer.’