A WESTCLIFF bartender drowned in the sea on holiday with friends after getting into difficulties, an inquest heard.

Ben Lloyd, 33, was on holiday on the Costa Del Sol earlier this year when he began to struggle while swimming in the sea.

An inquest, held at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court, heard how a police officer attempted to rescue him, dragging him onto the beach and giving him CPR.

It is believed he had been caught up in a rip tide.

He died at the scene, on the evening of July 1, despite the officer’s efforts.

Mr Lloyd was from Harlow but was a popular barman working for the Lamb and Lion Pub in Westcliff.

Before his death he had been visiting friends in Spain.

Senior coroner for Essex Caroline Beasley-Murray concluded Mr Lloyd died as the result of an accident.

During the inquest his death was described as tragic and Mrs Beasley-Murray passed her condolences to Mr Lloyd’s family.

Paying tribute to Mr Lloyd through a Just Giving page, his sister Gemma Jeffryes, said: “As many of you may be aware my brother Ben Lloyd tragically died whilst on holiday in Spain on Monday July 1 at just 33 years old.

“Those who knew Ben knew he was an amazing man with the kindest of hearts, he would do anything for anyone.

“Ben lived his short life to the full.”

After his death, Mr Lloyd’s family set up a fundraising campaign with the aim of raising £6,000 to repatriate his body.

Mr Lloyd did not have travel insurance, resulting in the need to raise funds.

More than £7,000 was donated, with more than 200 people donating through the fundraising page.

Local media reports from the Costa del Sol, where Benalmadena is based, stated emergency services were called to the coast on July 1 at around 8.20pm with reports that he could not pull himself out of the water.