The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has warned against letting unsupervised children use inflatables at the seaside after a man drowned while trying to rescue two children at a beach in West Sussex.
The 25-year-old man, who was not related to the children, was pronounced dead having been pulled unconscious from the water on the popular sands of West Wittering, near Chichester.
An air ambulance attended the incident, which occurred at noon on Saturday, but, despite being transferred to hospital, the man could not be saved.
Sussex Police said: "The male went to the assistance of two children playing in a rubber ring some five metres from the shoreline. He managed to get the children to safety but in doing so put himself in danger which sadly resulted in him drowning."
A spokeswoman for Solent Coastguard said: "The Coastguard recommends that inflatable toys should not be used in the sea with offshore winds – and if you do use one, please tether it to an adult on the shore."