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Briton's death in Australia confirmed

The death of a 59-year-old Briton thought to have drowned in Australia was confirmed by the Foreign Office today.

Hugh Waites, from Penwortham, Lancashire, was pulled from the water off Elouera Beach in the Cronulla suburb of Sydney but rescuers were unable to resuscitate him.

It is believed he had flown out with his 15-year-old stepson to visit his son who lives in the city just days before the tragedy on Monday.

In a statement, New South Wales Police said: "A 59-year-old male tourist from Great Britain died after being rescued from surf at Elouera Beach, near Cronulla in Sydney's south, about 6.45pm.

"Lifesavers and paramedics attempted to resuscitate the man without success.

"A 15-year-old boy was taken to Sutherland Hospital for treatment for hypothermia and shock. It's believed he is from the same family group."

Police have passed the matter to the coroner's office for further investigation.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm the death of a 59-year-old British national on April 5 at Elouera Beach in Sydney.

"We have been in contact with relatives and are offering consular assistance."

The Lancashire Evening Post reported that it was the first time that Mr Waites, a former financial adviser and grandfather of two, had been out to see his son, David.

It added that Mr Waites' stepson, Andrew, had since returned home to the UK, and that Mr Waites had a two-year-old daughter called Rachel and a grown-up daughter called Louise.

In a tribute, his family told the newspaper: "Hugh was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather and a devoted family man and he will be much missed."