Heartbroken family pay tribute to dad and daughter swept out to sea by ‘freak’ wave
Bonnie Smith, and her dad Matthew, were both washed out to sea from the harbour wall at Mullion Cove, Cornwall
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The grieving family of a dad and daughter washed out to sea by a 'freak' wave have paid tribute to the pair.
Matthew Philip Smith, 47, and Bonnie Marie Smith, 26, were killed after being washed from the harbour wall at Mullion Cove, Cornwall during stormy weather on November 2.
The tragic pair, who were from Abbeydale in Gloucestershire, were visiting the beauty spot in south west England just three days before the country entered its second national Covid-19 lockdown.
Matthew's devastated dad, James Smith, 71, is heartbroken over the deaths of his son and granddaughter.
He told The Sun Online: "Matthew was my best friend in the whole world. I miss him so much.
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The scene at Mullion Cove during the desperate search for the father and daughter
(Image: Bina Fellowes)
"He was loved by everyone. His family loved him and his engineers at work loved him.
"Bonnie was an absolutely adorable young woman who had followed in her father’s footsteps to become an engineer at the same company."
Bonnie and Matthew had been in Cornwall with her brothers, Mitchel, 22, and Oliver, 20.
Bonnie's mum Theresa praised her "beautiful and precious" "baby girl" in a heart-wrenching Facebook post.
Writing two days after the tragedy, Theresa wrote: "Me and my boys need time to come to terms with the tragic events of Monday evening when my baby girl was taken away from us.
The seawall at Mullion Cove is quite low
(Image: Getty Images)
"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.
"My two boys have been so strong and amazing not only have they lost there sister they have lost their dad .so please give them the space they need."
An inquest has now been opened into their deaths with a full hearing to follow in due course.
Bonnie was visiting the area with her dad and brothers
Witnesses described sea conditions as savage, saying waves were crashing over the harbour wall and that the water inside the harbour itself was “boiling”.
Two RNLI lifeboats had launched a rescue attempt for Bonnie and Matthew in force six winds, with swells of up to five metres, and waves crashing over the harbour wall.
Residents have previously warned visitors about storms at Mullion Cove as the harbour wall is low.
Fisherman Jonny Pascoe, who tried to help locate the casualties in the sea, said: "It’s really, really tragic.
"We know the dangers of the sea all too well and this is notorious. It doesn’t take much water to knock someone off their feet and into the water."