Man drowned as he tried to save dog off Sunderland beach

Alex Hardy.
Alex Hardy.
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A MAN died after he was swept away by waves as he tried to rescue his dog, an inquest heard.

Thirty-two-year-old Alex Hardy, from Stockton, drowned off Hendon beach in September.

A hearing at Sunderland Coroner’s court today heard Mr Hardy and fiancee Joanne Wardle had been walking their dogs along the promenade on September 22.

Mr Hardy’s dog had been chasing a pebble which went down a slipway and into the water, said deputy coroner Karin Welsh.

“Understandably, the dog followed that pebble and the dog was swept out to sea. Alex went down the slipway to rescue his dog, slipped and banged his head, and then he was swept out to sea himself.

“Alex was not a swimmer. Miss Wardle went into the sea to try to rescue him. A number of on-lookers saw what was happening and contacted the Coastguard but despite their best efforts, Alex could not be rescued.”

A post-mortem examination revealed death had been due to drowning.

The deputy coroner praised the efforts of the Coastguard and lifeboat volunteers who tried to save Mr Hardy and told his fiancee: “You, Miss Wardle, are to be commended for the actions you took that afternoon trying to rescue Alex.

“There is no reproach and you did everything you could to try to rescue him.”

VERDICT: ACCIDENT.