A mother whose son lost his life while trying to save hers has paid tribute to him as a "hero".

Ross Parker was washed out to sea during a family walk along a beach in Dorset.

His mother, Sam Ord, had been knocked into the water by a wave while crossing a small channel. Ross managed to keep her from being swept away by the current - but was carried out to sea himself by what witnesses described as a freak wave.

He was holding me down to stop me getting washed into the sea. Water was coming over us, in our mouths and noses, and I actually said to him 'I'm going to die'. He said 'No you're not mum.'

Sam Ord
Credit: MEN Media

Despite a huge search operation from the coastguard and helicopters, they were unable to rescue Ross.

His body was found the following morning at nearby Hive beach.

The Coastguard and other emergency services carried out an extensive search. Credit: ITV News

The 24 year old had only recently moved to Bridport from Leigh in Greater Manchester, and there he had "found his happy place".

He'd invited his mother to retire nearby to be with him.

Sam says that although part of her wishes the sea "had taken us both", the fact that Ross gave his life to save hers is keeping her going.

Credit: MEN Media

The last thing I expected was to bury my son. I know family and friends are worried about me, but I do realise that he lost his life saving me and if I was to do anything then I'd really be letting him down.

Sam Ord

Ross's funeral will take place at the Howe Bridge Crematorium in Leigh, with his loved ones being asked to wear the colours of his favourite sports teams, Manchester City shirts, WWE, or the Green Bay Packers.