A woman who was on the beach says Hywel Morgan gave his life to “save others”.
A man who drowned after going into the sea to rescue two children who were in difficulty has been described as “absolutely heroic”.
Hywel Morgan, 47, was pulled from the sea at Poppit Sands near St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire, after the alarm was raised on Friday evening.
Dyfed-Powys Police said Mr Morgan was understood to have helped rescue children caught in a rip current.
Witness Millie Cook said he gave his life to “save others”.
Police said Mr Morgan died after being recovered from the sea. The two children were taken to hospital as a precaution.
The RNLI flew its flag at half mast over its station at Poppit Sands on Sunday following Mr Morgan’s death.
Mr Morgan has also been described as a hero by his family.
“Despite our pain and grief, it gives us comfort that he selflessly tried to prevent others from losing their lives,” they said in a statement on Saturday.
Ms Cook, who was on holiday in the area, described Mr Morgan as a “credit to his family and friends”.
“My deepest condolences to them during this time,” she added.