The man who died when he went into the sea in Cornwall in the early hours of New Year’s Day has been named as Harry Swordy.
Friends paid tribute to Mr Swordy as an “amazing character” and somebody who was “full of life, warmth and plans for the future”.
Mr Swordy, 27, from Guildford in Surrey, was with a group of friends who went into the sea at Loe Bar beach near Porthleven in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Friends of Mr Swordy are appealing for people to name the storm lashing the UK as Storm Harry, in memory of the young man.
Tom Luddington, a friend of Harry, said on his blog: “On new year’s day, we received the devastating news that early that morning, our dear friend Harry Swordy had been taken out of knee-deep water by a huge wave at Loe Bar in Cornwall, and was lost.
“He was with his sister and friends, and celebrating the beginning of a new year at the beach. Some of the others were also taken by the wave, but thankfully managed to get ashore.”
The coastguard reported on New Year’s Day that a group of friends had gone to Loe Bar at around 1am in the early hours and one man was swept off his feet by a large wave when the group went for a paddle.
The friends called 999 but despite a massive search in atrocious conditions by coastguards, rescue teams, The Lizard and Penlee lifeboats and a Navy helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, the missing man could not be found.
A member of the public spotted a body on January 2 in the water near Porthleven beach, just along the coast from Loe Bar.
Mr Luddington said: “Harry was such an amazing character, so full of life, warmth and plans for the future. He will be so missed.
“Harry, amongst other talents, was a professional story teller. His stories were full of beauty, wonder and they were clever and moving.”
The bad weather has destroyed buildings around the coast and caused flooding in towns across Cornwall.
Mr Luddington said: “We are campaigning that the storm, named by the US media as Hercules, be re-named Storm Harry in his memory. If feels right that a legend begin about wonderful Harry that he danced up the biggest storm ever, barefoot in the sea.”
A spokesman for the Met Office confirmed storms were named in the US from a pre-prepared list but are not given a name on this side of the Atlantic.
Cornwall Coroner’s office confirmed this afternoon that the death of a man named Harry Swordy had been reported.