Family pay tribute to dad and daughter who died after being swept out to sea

The grieving family of a dad and daughter who died after being swept out to sea have paid tribute.

Matthew Smith, 47, and Bonnie Marie Smith, 26, were knocked from a harbour wall into the water by a huge “freak” wave in Cornwall.

Massive waves had been crashing over the harbour at Mullion Cove when the double tragedy unfolded on November 2.

Two RNLI lifeboats launched a rescue attempt in force six winds, with swells of up to five metres.

The pair, who were on holiday with family, were pulled from the sea by a coastguard helicopter but were later confirmed dead at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

An inquest into the deaths of the pair from Abbeydale, Gloucester, has opened, with a full hearing due in April.

Relatives said they were both engineers for Openreach and were on holiday with Bonnie’s brothers Mitchel, 22, and Oliver, 20.

Matthew's dad James Smith, 71, told the Sun: "Matthew was my best friend in the whole world. I miss him so much.

"He was loved by everyone. His family loved him and his engineers at work loved him."

James said Bonnie was an "absolutely adorable young woman".

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He added: "She was just lovely. I was so proud of both of them.

"I cannot believe they are no longer here with us."

He said he had been told the wave that swept the pair away was a "freak wave".

In a Facebook post, Bonnie’s mum Theresa said: "Whoever had the privilege to know my boo would know how beautiful and precious she really is and always will be and will be forever in our hearts."

She praised her two boys for being "so strong and amazing" after having lost their sister and dad.

Witnesses described sea conditions on the night as "boiling", with giant waves crashing over the harbour wall.

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