A family in England is in mourning after a vacation turned into a horrifying fight for life that both the father and a toddler daughter ultimately lost. The Bruynius family had traveled from London to a resort in Cornwall and were fishing on rocks on the beach on Aug. 19, 2016, when conditions changed rapidly for the worse, reports Cornwall Live. As the mother, Lisinda, described it at an inquest this week, a wave hit them "out of nowhere" and sent them scrambling for safety up the rocks. But then a second wave struck, sending Lisinda, husband Rudy, and their 2-year-old daughter McKayla, still in her stroller, into the choppy waters below. Their two older boys made it to safety.
"Rudy had managed to get McKayla from the buggy and she was in his arms," recounts Lisinda. "I could hear Rudy screaming for help and I could hear the boys screaming for help." Rudy lost his grasp on their daughter, and when Lisinda managed to swim to him, he was unconscious and McKayla was nowhere in sight. All were pulled from the water by rescuers within 15 minutes, but Rudy died that night and McKayla four days later, reports the Guardian. A detective says waves went from 6 feet to 13 feet in a half-hour. Six people in total drowned around the coast that tragic weekend, reports the BBC. More than 1,800 people have donated about $64,000 to the Bruynius family on JustGiving.com. (A man who can't swim saved a drowning child.)