Father and daughter died in 'tragic accident' after being swept into sea
A father and his two-year-old daughter on a family holiday died after being swept into the sea while fishing off rocks when the weather suddenly changed.
Rudy Bruynius, 33, and McKayla were killed in the incident at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall on August 19 last year when they were hit by a large wave.
They were enjoying a fishing trip when Mr Bruynius, his wife Lisinda and McKayla, who was strapped into a pushchair, were abruptly hit by a wave before a second, bigger wave, dragged them into the sea.
The couple's two older children escaped the tragedy after managing to scramble up the rocks to safety, Cornwall Coroner's Court, sitting in Truro, heard.
Mr and Mrs Bruynius were rescued by beach lifeguards and a lifeboat found McKayla a short time later.
Eyewitnesses, who described the waves as being between 8ft and 10ft and getting bigger, alerted the emergency services after hearing screams.
An RNLI lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter, beach lifeguards, police, air ambulance and ambulance crews were quickly at the scene.
Mrs Bruynius told the court her family were on a camping holiday in Newquay from their home in Morden, South London.
"We were fishing off the rocks and within a short time the waves became bigger and started to splash us," she said in a statement read to the court.
"We were totally shocked and totally wet and focused upon McKayla.
"My two boys started to move further up the rocks we were on.
"Rudy, McKayla and I were in the process of moving up the rock when a large wave washed us off the rock.
"There had been no time to say anything to Rudy when a second large wave hit us and dragged us into the water.
"Rudy had managed to get McKayla from the buggy and she was in his arms.
"I could hear Rudy screaming for help and I could hear the boys screaming for help.
"I glanced across and could no longer see McKayla in Rudy's arms. Rudy appeared to be floating in an upright position with his head back.
"I swam over to Rudy but he was unconscious."
Mrs Bruynius added: "I remember the shock at how quickly the weather conditions changed that day and the tragic effect it has had upon our family."
Her husband, a self-employed landscape gardener who was originally from South Africa, died in hospital in Truro later that night while his daughter died four days later at Bristol Children's Hospital.
A post-mortem examination found Mr Bruynius died from drowning while his daughter died from hypoxic ischemic brain injury due to cardiac arrest and drowning.
Detective Constable Jarrod Yewen said the family were in the water for no more than 15 minutes and their deaths were treated as a tragic accident.
"That particular day there was a developing weather front coming in.
"I don't think anyone could have foreseen the weather conditions were going to change so quickly," he said.
Cornwall Coroner Dr Emma Carlyon recorded conclusions of accidental death.
She said: "All the evidence suggests this was a tragic accident because Rudy and McKayla had been washed into the sea when the conditions changed dramatically."
Mrs Bruynius did not attend the hearing but in a statement afterwards, she said: "On August 19 our lives changed forever.
"We were fishing off rocks when the sea conditions changed so quickly and caught us out.
"We didn't have time to react and my sons and I have been left devastated by what then happened.
"Rudy was a loving husband and a loving father. He leaves a void that can never be filled.
"He was our everything. We love and miss him so much.
"McKayla, our gorgeous and beautiful baby girl, is forever in our hearts and the pain that myself and the boys feel at losing them both is indescribable.
"We are so grateful to everyone involved in the rescue, especially the RNLI who were relentless in trying to save us, Royal Cornwall Hospital and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children who gave us all such fantastic care, Devon and Cornwall Police and the Cornish community who supported us during our stay.
"The last eight months have been extremely difficult and I hope people can learn from our tragedy."
A fundraising page, set up to support the family, raised nearly £50,000.