Swimmer drowns in rough sea off Broadstairs
A TEACHER drowned and one of his pupils was saved by a heroic onlooker after they were caught in rough seas off Broadstairs on Monday (June 4).
The two men got into difficulty after climbing into the sea from the lower promenade in Louisa Bay at 11.30am - against the advice of bystanders.
Paul Naisbitt, who runs the Louisa Bay Cafe, dived straight into the water and rescued one of the men, but the other was washed away.
His wife Camilla later posted on Facebook: "My kids witnessed their dad going in the sea and I am sorry for the man who died but we told them not to go in the sea and there could have been more fatalities."
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Mrs Naisbitt called the emergency services as soon as her husband dived in.
There was a strong tide with waves lashing over the promenade. Witnesses said the conditions were as bad as they have seen for months.
Mr Naisbitt pulled the younger of the two men, named in the Jewish press as Rabbi Yitzhak Beigel, to safety in Louisa Bay.
He tried to hold onto the older swimmer, believed to be Rabbi Chaim Breish, 65, dean of an high school in Stamford Hill's Orthodox Jewish community in London, as they were carried around to Dumpton Gap.
But Rabbi Breisch was dragged off by the tide.
Witnesses and well-wishers have paid tribute to Mr Naisbitt's rescue bid, describing him as a"true hero" on social networking site Facebook.
Rabbi Breisch was then spotted 30 metres off the coast below the George VI Memorial Hospital in Ramsgate.
An inshore lifeboat team carried him to Ramsgate Harbour where he was winched onto a search and rescue helicopter tasked from RAF Wattisham.
He was rushed to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, but later died. He is believed to have been visiting a relative who lives in the area.
For a full report see Friday's Isle of Thanet Gazette.