TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘devoted and brilliant’ retired Land Rover employee who drowned trying to rescue his dog while on holiday in Cornwall.
Trevor Priest, who was in his 60s, is believed to have been holidaying with his family when the tragedy happened.
The family dog Alfie – a young golden retriever – is believed to have fallen from cliffs in Tintagel.
Mr Priest went to see if he could help his dog but slipped into the sea below.
Emergency services including Port Isaac lifeboat, coastguards and the air ambulance were called to the scene on Tuesday, September 27 at around 1pm.
Mr Priest was winched to safety and flown to hospital but could not be saved.
He is survived by his wife Gill, daughter Megan and son Nick.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were informed that a man described as in his 60s was in distress in the water near Dunderhole Point, Tintagel.
“Coastguard and police attended as did the air ambulance, who took the man to Treliske hospital.”
The tragedy means Mr Priest is the ninth person to lose their life off the Cornish coast this year.
A spokesman for Port Isaac lifeboat said: “Port Isaac lifeboat was tasked to reports of a person and dog in trouble in the water.
“The lifeboat arrived on scene just after the coastguard helicopter.
“The helicopter located the casualty and winched him on board.
“The dog was recovered by the lifeboat and taken back to Port Isaac.”
Friends and family of Mr Priest took to social media to pay tribute.
Mr Priest’s nephew Roy Freer said: “You won’t find anyone with a bad word to say about Uncle Trev. That’s because all he was, was positive, an amazing and loving husband, a devoted and brilliant father, a caring and fantastic Uncle, a respected and appreciated workmate, a talented and fun teammate. He was loved by everyone he knew and to lose him this way feels like robbery. RIP Uncle Trev.”
Tony Williams Vince added: “When it comes to Trevor there are only good things to say about him. And others have said all the good stuff. So I’ll keep it short. Trevor, we will miss you. I will miss you, and your family will miss you. The world has lost a good good man. Say hello to the rest of the lads.”
And Joe Richardson said: “Such a genuinely top bloke, a blessing to have had you as a neighbour Trevor. Taken too soon but lived more than most people would in 200 years! Never failed to make me smile… Sitting in the garden won’t be the same without hearing you singing away to yourself! Love to all the family from all of us at such a hard time.”