RAF officer, 47, died saving his friend’s daughter in the sea during family holiday to beach named ‘Hell’s Mouth’

  • Sgt Stephen Hulsmeier, 47, was on holiday with family and friends in North Wales
  • RAF engineer jumped into sea to save friend’s daughter when she was struggling
  • Although the girl was saved, medics were unable to save Stephen’s life on beach 
  • Tributes paid to soldier describe him as ‘kind and considerate’ and a ‘true gent’ 

A brave RAF officer died after saving his friend’s daughter from the sea on a holiday with family and friends to a beach called Hell’s Mouth.

Sgt Stephen Hulsmeier, 47, plunged into the water to save the girl while on holiday with family and friends.

But an inquest heard he ‘got into difficulty’ in the waters at Hell’s Mouth, in Porth Neigwl, North Wales – and died after being brought ashore.

The RAF paid tribute to the sergeant – known as Hulzi – who worked as an aircraft engineer at Brize Norton.

A tribute read: ‘It is with sincere sadness that we announce the death of Sergeant Stephen Hulsmeier on Friday August 6 following a tragic accident whilst on holiday with his family and friends.

‘Steve – known as Hulzi to his many friends – was a popular aircraft engineer and during his 23 years’ service he worked on many squadrons and stations.’

RAF officer Stephen Hulsmeier – known as Hulzi – died after saving his friend’s daughter from notorious waves at a beach known as Hell’s Mouth in Gwynedd, north Wales, an inquest heard

The RAF say his wife Becky and their son are receiving support.

‘They wish to pass on their thanks for all of the messages of support they have received so far which is providing them some comfort,’ said the RAF.

Acting senior coroner for north-west Wales Katie Sutherland said Sgt Hulsmeier, from Newport, Shropshire, got into difficulties in the rough waves.

The hearing in Llandudno was told the daughter of a family friend was saved but he drowned in the notorious water.

A team including the coastguard, police and paramedics as well as members of the public tried for two hours to revive the father-of-one after pulling him from the sea. 

Witness Bryn Dando saw Sgt Hulsmeier being brought ashore – and called for safety measures needed to be improved on the beach.

The inquest was adjourned for more inquiries.

Mr Dando said he would like to see lifeguards on duty full time while Gwynedd council said signs warned visitors of hazards at Hell’s Mouth.

Mr Dando said: ‘I like to see more descriptive signage of the dangers, telling you what to look out for for – waves not breaking in a particular area or something like that,’ Mr Dando said.

A Gwynedd council spokesperson said: ‘As a council we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the individual who passed away… at this extremely sad time.

In the face of calls for further safety measures at the spot known as Hell’s Mouth (pictured), Gwynedd Council has said that signs on the beach warn visitors of the water’s hazards 

‘Warning signs are in place which refer to specific hazards at this location including strong currents and large breaking waves. The signage also informs the public that the beach is not supervised.

‘We urge all members of the public to be mindful of such hazards, to be very careful and take notice of specific information, guidance and warning signs.’

Tributes described Sgt Hulsmeier as ‘kind, caring and considerate’ and ‘a true gentleman’.

Paying respects on social media, friend James Cresswell wrote: ‘The kindest and biggest hearted person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

‘I had the honour of being his close friend and wouldn’t swap one moment of the great times we shared. Big love out to Becky, Theo and family. God’s speed my friend.’

Chris Brown added: ‘My best friend. The world is truly a sadder lesser place without you. A friend, a gentleman, a role model and a perfect example of what a husband and father should be.

‘I am shattered by this tragic event but I’m reading these wonderful messages with tears in my eyes but a smile on my face. I am proud to be one of your friends.’

Meanwhile, Alan Clark wrote: ‘Absolutely gutted! A true Gent and an excellent engineer. Kind, caring considerate and one of the best.

‘We had some good times buddy, and now those memories will stay with me always. Rest easy my friend.’ 

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