The incredible efforts of the emergency services have been praised following a mass rescue attempt earlier this week in "horrendous" conditions.

Sadly, despite the best efforts of the emergency services - which included two lifeboats, the rescue helicopter and coastguards - two people lost their lives at Mullion Cove on Monday evening after they were swept into the sea from the harbour wall.

Police confirmed yesterday that a woman in her 20s and a man in his 40s had died, after being airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

They are understood to have only arrived in Mullion that day, on holiday from the Gloucestershire area, together with the man’s two sons - also thought to be in their twenties.

A 999 call was first received at around 6.45pm on Monday, to say that the man and woman had been taken by a wave from the harbour wall.

It is understood that the family had been with their dog at the harbour when the wave came in.

The two sons managed to escape and only became aware that their father and sister had been taken in when they spotted their dog on the beach, clearly wet from the sea.

Joanna Cockings, who runs the Porthmellin Tea Room at the cove with her family, was at home nearby with husband Michael when they had a knock on the door from the two sons.

They raised the alarm with emergency services, with Joanna praising the bravery of the lifeboat crews from Penlee and The Lizard, as well as the coastguards - both the winchman and the members of Mullion Coastguard Rescue Team.

She said: “They were just absolutely incredible; amazing, professional calm. The heroism from them, it blows me away really.

“Some were roped up and went down the harbour wall, just with torches, to locate them.

“It was in horrendous conditions; some of the waves were metres high. They are just so brave.”

A member of the Penlee Lifeboat team also spoke of rough sea conditions and strong winds at the time of the attempted rescue.

A spokesperson said: “The lifeboats stood by to assist the search and the two people were winched from the water by the helicopter and taken to Treliske hospital.

“Due to the rough and dark conditions, the Lizard all-weather lifeboat then escorted Penlee inshore lifeboat back to Newlyn.

“Sadly, it has been confirmed that the two have since passed away, and our thoughts are with their family and friends.”

A police spokesperson said officers were called by the Coastguard at 7.15pm on Monday, to inform them of the incident.

She said the next of kin of the man and the woman had been informed, adding: “The deaths are not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner in due course.”