The families of Dan Nicholls and Freddie Reynolds, who were swept out to sea at Brighton, have given heartfelt messages about them.

The pair were reported missing at 1.30am to the coastguard who ordered a full air and sea search for the friends.

Police believe they had taken part in a dare before Dan was pulled into the sea by a wave.

Freddie entered the water in an attempt to rescue Dan, but was pulled further into the waves. A friend who tried to aid Freddie pulling Dan from the sea made it back to land.

The close friends were old schoolfriends and used to share a flat together in the city.

Freddie's family said in a statement released by Sussex Police: "Freddie was a very loyal and brilliant friend. He was always looking out for his friends and family and people loved to be around him. He was incredibly funny and loved a joke and a banter around the dinner table.

"He had a variety of interests and could often be found skateboarding at The Level or updating his online music under the name of FRNZ.

"He was a brillant partner to girlfriend Stephanie and was always showering her in cuddles. Sister Rosie describes him as a wonderful brother who was always there for her.

"He has a half brother Matthew. He had been a student at Dorothy Stringer School and was now working as a dispensary technician at Ashtons where he was popular amongst his colleagues.

"His loss will leave a huge void in a lot of people's lives. His friends and family would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the search for Freddie."

Dan's family said: "Dan was very bright, he was quick and witty with lots of friends to whom he was close and loyal. He loved music which he both made and produced. Dan had a passion for cookery and in July last year prepared a culinary feast as part of his graduation celebrations.

"Dan enjoyed skateboarding at The Level in Brighton with friends and was also a Brighton & Hove Albion season ticket with his mother. Dan was a sensitive individual who had a real enthusiasm for life. He was a gentleman who always showed concern for others and was a great "hugger".

"Dan was bright and insightful and was a close friend of Freddie.

"Dan leaves his mother Wendy and his sister Martha. The family have received well wishes from a number of people and he was clearly well loved by many."

This afternoon a body, believed to be one of the young men, was discovered on the beach at Saltdean.

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