Christopher Lawrence was described as ‘kind hearted’ and someone who ‘would help anybody’ at an inquest into his death today (August 6).
The 27-year-old, of Coast Road in Pevensey Bay, was found in the water at around 7am on February 9 this year.
Christopher’s father, Wayne Lawrence, said in a statement at the inquest, “He was very kind hearted, he would help anybody that he could.
“He was happy and outgoing and adventurous as a child, and would always want to be out.”
Family pay tribute to big West Ham fan who died after Pevensey Bay incident
Step father Paul Alliston said Christopher’s death had left a hole in their family.
In a tribute following the tragedy, he said, “We wish he was still here.
“He was a good lad all round. He never took life seriously and lived in his own world.
“He loved his football and was a big West Ham fan. He was just a young lad living his life.”
Christopher’s partner Ellie Duigman, who he lived with, said he loved animals – particularly his two dogs Ted and Frank.
She said in a tribute, “We spent every day with each other.
“Chris made a point of making sure I knew I was the most important person in his life, even in his final moments on this earth he ensured I felt his unconditional love.”
They had planned to marry in nine years, she said, “It was one of our jokes, but he always promised me he was going to marry me one day.”
She described him as introverted and said he preferred to be indoors playing his favourite game Fortnite.
In a statement read at the inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall, Ellie said Christopher had struggled with his mental health.
She said, “I think this was an ongoing issue he had been fighting for a long time.”
The inquest heard Ellie woke up at around 5am on February 9 and found he was gone and had sent her a worrying message.
She called 999 and a major search was launched by police, Coastguard, and RNLI crews.
Christopher was eventually found in the sea by Lifeboat teams and rushed to Eastbourne District General Hospital.
Despite resuscitation attempts, he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 10.33am, the inquest heard.
Coroner Alan Craze said, “It’s abundantly clear, there’s no room for any doubt, he entered the sea with a view to bringing his life to an end.”
He reached a conclusion of suicide, and expressed his condolences to Christopher’s family and loved ones.
• If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.