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'Hero' dad's final photo before tragic death on NSW beach

When devoted dad Brad Coleman, who "hated selfies", reluctantly posed for a photo with his family at the start of their weekend away, they had no idea it'd be their last photo together.

The Coleman's family holiday at Hyams Beach on the NSW South Coast earlier this month started like many getaways, with a trip to the beach so kids Raiden, 12 and Aleyna, 11 could enjoy a dip in the ocean.

But moments later the dad of two was dead, unable to be saved.

Hulya Coleman (left, back) Brad Coleman (right, front) with kids Raiden (middle) and Aleyna (bottom left)
Mr Coleman and his family posed for a photo moments before his death, despite people who knew him saying he 'hated selfies'. Source 2GB

The life-changing holiday took a tragic turn that day on March 4 when Mr Coleman, from Hurlstone Park in Sydney's inner west, heard his kids' cry for help as they were swept up in a strong rip.

Mr Coleman "didn’t hesitate" and ran into the water to save their lives but got into difficulty himself.

After bringing his kids to safety, it's believed the heroic dad suffered a heart attack. All while his wife Hulya watched on from the balcony of their rented accommodation, the Daily Telegraph reported.

By the time she reached the ocean, she watched as the body of her "soulmate" and "best friend" drifted towards her face down in the water.

Mrs Coleman also suffered a heart attack on the beach from the shock.

She and her kids were airlifted to Prince of Wales hospital in Sydney where they spent the night, 2GB reported. The kids still covered in think, red seaweed which had entangled them.

"There was nothing I could do to save him. I’ve lost my best friend. I never thought I’d ever be a widow," the grieving widow told the Daily Telegraph.

"My beloved became our eternal hero, and my heart literally broke on that beach, but it could have been so much worse."

Family hit with further tragedy

Mrs Coleman was back in hospital last week for further treatment of her heart.

Hours after leaving the hospital, her father passed away in a palliative care facility. She "didn't even get to say goodbye," Jen Couttas, a friend of the family said.

Brad Coleman (left) with wife Hulya Coleman (second from left) with kids Raiden (right) and Aleyna (second from right))
The family has been left heartbroken after the life-changing family holiday. Source: GoFundMe

Speaking on 2GB radio, Ms Couttas said the family have "a lot of trauma to get over" noting the incident brought on "a very sudden change" for the family.

"He did everything right in his life," she said of Mr Coleman who was just an "ordinary man," but to his family "he was extraordinary"

The devoted dad was "absolutely beloved by Hulya" who still "can't believe she's a widow."

Support for the Coleman family

Mr Coleman's brother Scott described him as his "best friend" and "the best man I knew" in a tribute shared on Facebook following the funeral last week.

"Today we farewelled my brother Brad Coleman, aged 40. He lost his life tragically in a drowning incident at Hyam’s Beach on the 4 March 2022," he wrote on Thursday,

In support of the heartbroken family who have to "face a future without him," Mr Coleman's brother Scott has set up a GoFundMe page in a bid to raise $20,000. So far almost $57,000 has been raised.

People were heartbroken by the news with many offering words of support to Mrs Coleman and her kids.

"Such a tragedy. Just heartbreaking. Much love and strength to this family," one person wrote on the GoFundMe page.

"Such a heartbreaking time. Sending so much love to all of you," said another.

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