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Tributes to sea rescue grandfather

Published 05/07/2015

The RNLI rescued the man off Tywyn, Gwynedd, but he later died
The RNLI rescued the man off Tywyn, Gwynedd, but he later died

Tributes have been paid to a "selfless and brave" grandfather who died while trying to rescue two teenage girls who got into difficulty in the sea.

Richard Guest, 74, and another member of the public went into the sea in Tywyn, Gwynedd, north-west Wales, to help the girls who got caught in a rip current at about 3.45pm yesterday.

A statement issued by the family said: "One of the girls came out of the water unaided but the other girl was still in distress. He was about 40 yards out from the shore and was seen holding one of the girls up out of the water in his arms by the time Aberdovey coastguard arrived and managed to save the girl."

Mr Guest had to be rescued by the Aberdovey Coastguard and was airlifted by the Welsh Air Ambulance Service to Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth, where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Guest, from Walsall, was on a weekend break with his wife Margaret, 71, and they had been walking their dog on the beach when the girls got into trouble.

Ceri Donovan, Mr Guest's daughter, said: "We cannot imagine life without him. He was loved by so many people.

"Dad was brought up in Bethel, Near Caernarfon, north Wales, and attended Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen. He was a strong swimmer and was used to swimming on that particular part of the beach. It was just like him to do something so selfless and brave."

The family said they understood the other man who went to the girls' rescue was unhurt.

Mr Guest, who was also known as Dick, had a long-standing connection with Handsworth Rugby Union Football Club, where he was a former player and a keen supporter.

He had worked as a bank manager for the former Midland Bank and later worked for PFA Financial Management in Birmingham. He was a father of two, grandfather of four and enjoyed his allotment.

Mrs Donovan said: "He was an active man who loved the outdoors, and was at happiest in Tywyn with his family.

"At the end of the day, he was a family man. He was a great father and a much-loved grandfather. We will miss him terribly."

Scores of tributes were posted on the Love Tywyn Facebook page, describing Mr Guest as brave, kind and a "true hero".

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