A FATHER has described how he found out his two sons had been swept into the sea by a freak wave while fishing when he saw one of them brought ashore in a lifeboat.

Dr Robert Allen, 30, and Charles Allen, 21, from Salisbury, died after the incident at Treyarnon Cove, near Padstow, on September 4.

An inquest heard that a wave washed Robert into the sea and his brother was swept away while trying to help him.

The siblings were on a family holiday, were fishing from rocks near Pepper Cove with their brother-in-law Andrew Thornton.

Giving evidence at Cornwall coroner’s court in Truro on Friday, Mr Thornton said: “Rob said he had a fish on. To make sure the fish didn’t get off the line we all climbed down lower. Charles came down with a net but the fish got away. Rob blamed Charles because he took too long getting the net down so he was ranting and raving about that.

“There was a big rock in front and a flat bit behind it. The wave came and hit the rock and wrapped around the side. It hit Rob and washed him into the sea. We all got hit by it. Charles was clinging on to the side and I dropped to the floor.”

Mr Thornton said Charles tried to help Robert but was swept into the water by another wave.

Charles was rescued at 2.48pm by a lifeboat crew and taken ashore at Treyarnon Bay where paramedics tried to revive him. He was taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro but was later pronounced dead.

Roberts’s body was found seven days later after being washed ashore a few miles away.

The pair’s father Anthony Allen said both enjoyed fishing and were “conscientious” about weather and tides.

He and his wife took their grandson to the beach at around 2pm and became aware of a helicopter near where his sons were fishing. He said: “The beach had lifeguards on duty and they called for members of the public to come out of the water. I wondered what was going on but a few minutes later I saw the lifeboat come ashore and inside there was a male. I could see that it was Charles.”

Detective Constable Alex Fisher, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said the deaths could not have been predicted and that they died “despite all efforts by family and friends and the emergency services”.

The cause of the deaths was found to be drowning.

Senior coroner for Cornwall Dr Emma Carlyon ruled the brothers’ deaths were accidental.