A MAN who was dragged unconscious from the sea after his dinghy capsized has died.

The 78-year-old Southend man had been pulled from the water by joggers and Mark Frood, 16, near the jetty at Chalkwell beach, off Chalkwell Esplanade.

He died despite desperate efforts to save him – including first aid by a passing hospital consultant and police officers.

GCSE pupil Mark of Colemans Avenue, Westcliff, was on the beach with a friend when he became involved in helping the man. The teenager, who has just finished his studies at Eastwood School, recalled: “It had started raining and we were about to leave when we saw the runner go out onto the jetty, then he started shouting and waving his arms, asking for help.

“We ran over and saw a man in the water. The runner had got him half out, and I helped pull him clear. There was a consultant who had been running along the beach who started CPR.”

Mark said the consultant had feared the man had already died, but ambulance staff continued resuscitation and took him to Southend Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Mark added: “I was really sad to hear he had died.”

The incident, shortly after 6pm on Monday, also involved the police helicopter, Southend’s coastguard team and the volunteer-crewed RNLI inshore lifeboat.

They frantically carried out a search of the area in case anyone else was in the water.

After establishing the man had been alone, a lifeboat crew located his capsized dinghy and returned it to shore.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

A spokesman for Essex County Council, which handles post-mortem examinations, said the coroner was likely to open and adjourn an inquest into the man’s death later this week.