UPDATE: FAMILY and friends of a Hayle surfer and photographer who drowned while taking close-up pictures of a whirlpool have today paid tribute to the “friendliest, happiest and loving person you could ever meet”.
Thrill-seeker Jacob Cockle, aged 28, is believed to have been trying to capture footage of the dangerous tidal phenomenon at the Carnsew Pool in the Hayle Estuary last night.
The disused man-made waterway was constructed by the Victorians in 1830 and was originally built to flush sand from the harbour.
Friends said Mr Cockle was in the water to take photographs of the large, fast-moving whirlpools it creates when he was sucked under.
St Ives lifeboat, Sea King Rescue 193 helicopter, ambulance, police and a coastguard team from Portreath were called out to help save his life before he was airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske in Truro where he was later pronounced dead.
Lee Harvey, aged 35, a close friend of him for 20 years and the owner of Pasty Adventures kitesurfing school in Hayle, said Mr Cockle was taking still photographs while his friend filmed him.
He said: "Jacob was one of the friendliest, happiest and loving persons you could ever meet. It is very hard to take.
"Jacob was a body boarder although he loved surfing and would also do that, he also loved filming whirlpools, which is what I believe happened.
"He went to the pools with a guy who he goes out there with - he isn't reckless. Jacob said he was going back for just one more photo.
"But then the guy lost sight of him and he went towards the centre of the whirlpools.
"The next thing he came out the other side and was unconscious. It is just such a tragedy and so hard to take.
“I love you bro, rest in peace while riding the waves and whirlpools of heaven."
He added that a memorial service was being planned, as well as a party at Sennen beach in Mr Cockle's memory for friends.
Jacob's mother Carolyn Sheard, aged 58, said today: "All I can say is imagine if it was your child, we are obviously absolutely devastated.
"He was a friend of everybody, he had so many friends and he held no grudges against any person at all. He lived life to the full."
Tributes have also been paid online with friend Georgie Burdett saying: "Beautiful soul, positive personality, fantastic surfer, amazing photographer, all round good guy taken to soon."
Another added: "Very sad news around the British Bodyboarding scene today with the loss of Jacob Cockle.”
On Facebook ThreeSixty Bodyboarding Magazine said: "He was an accomplished waterman, top bodyboarder and very talented photographer, filmer and artist. Our thoughts go out to his family and the west Cornwall bodyboarders, surfers and crew he undoubtedly inspired with his lust for life."
Detective constable Damien Ayling of Devon and Cornwall Police has warned anyone from swimming in the area, saying it was very dangerous, even for the strongest swimmers, regardless of what equipment they were using.
A Hayle man who has been described as a “beautiful soul” has died after being found face down in the water at Carnsew Pool, Hayle, on Tuesday night.
The man has been named locally as 28-year-old Jacob Cockle.
Tributes to the surfer and photographer were posted on social networking sites this afternoon.
ThreeSixty Bodyboarding Magazine
said on Facebook: “Very sad to hear of the death of Jacob Cockle.
“He was an accomplished waterman, top bodyboarder and very talented photographer, filmer and artist.
“Our thoughts go out to his family and the west Cornwall bodyboarders, surfers and crew he undoubtedly inspired with his lust for life.”
It was unclear as the West Briton went to print whether Mr Cockle was working at the time of the incident.
A number of people also took to Twitter to pay tribute.
Georgie Burdett wrote: “RIP Jacob Cockle. Beautiful soul, positive personality, fantastic surfer, amazing photographer, all round good guy taken to soon.”
Police were called to the pool in Hayle at 9pm on Tuesday evening.
A spokesman for Falmouth Coastguard said a member of the public had rescued the man from the water and started giving him first aid.
Mr Cockle was airlifted to Treliske Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said it is believed the man may have been swimming in or near an area renowned for whirlpools and that the death was not being treated as suspicious.
St Ives lifeboat, Sea King Rescue Helicopter 193 and a coastguard team from Portreath were also called out to Carnsew Quay behind Jewson’s builders merchants.
Anyone who saw or heard anything, should contact police by calling 101 and quoting reference number AY-13-417 or incident number 775 of 28-05-13.