The man, aged in his thirties, named locally as Andrew Shaun McGeown, was walking with his dog and a friend when they were washed into the water in South Shore, Scarborough. His companion managed to scramble to shore and was treated for the effects of the cold and shock but has since been discharged from hospital.
Police said the man who died is from the Scarborough area but his identity had not been released yesterday.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said weather conditions were poor with rough seas, gale-force winds and a high tide on Sunday evening when the incident happened.
Mike Puplett, from the Humber Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, warned people to be wary of the dangers of such weather conditions. “When you combine (high tides) with gale-force winds you get very powerful waves,” he said.
“Whilst this can look spectacular we would ask people to please admire the force of nature at a distance.
“Breaking waves will knock you off your feet and are extremely dangerous for both you and the people who will be sent to rescue you.”
North Yorkshire Police were called at around 6pm on Sunday, to a report of a man being swept out to sea near the Spa in Scarborough’s South Bay. The RNLI and Coastguard also attended the scene, with air support provided by RAF Leconfield.
In a statement North Yorkshire Police said: “An unconscious man was recovered from the water at around 6.40pm and taken to Scarborough District Hospital. Sadly, despite the efforts of paramedics and hospital staff, he was pronounced deceased at hospital.
“It is understood that the man was walking in the area with his dog and a friend when he got into difficulties.
“The man’s friend was also taken to hospital suffering from shock and the effects of the cold, but has since been discharged.”
A family who were walking nearby, raised the alarm with the emergency services. Yesterday investigations were underway to determine exactly what had happened.
A spokesperson for Scarborough Borough Council said: “We extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of the man who tragically lost his life in the south bay area on Sunday evening.”
Scarborough RNLI said the inshore lifeboat was launched in poor visibility at 6.10pm followed 20 minutes later by the all-weather lifeboat.
A spokesman said: “The men were thought to be somewhere between the former swimming pool and the Spa. Inshore lifeboat helmsman Rudi Barman said it was at high tide, with a 4ft to 5ft swell amplified by the backwash.”
Stormy weather conditions are set to continue, with snow showers and high winds meaning a wintry start to the working week. The Met Office said wintry weather will last well into today and in northern England, snow looks likely to accumulate only on the Pennines and mountain areas.
There have been other Scarborough drowning incidents. Kim Barrett and her children Luke and Aimee Greenwood, from Leeds, died in 2005 when a raging sea swept them into North Bay.