Stuart Calder, a 52-year-old knee surgeon from Leeds, was one of three surfers who died after getting into difficulty in the sea at Mawgan Porth beach in Newquay, Cornwall.
Mr Calder was an orthopedic surgeon from Leeds and a father of four.
According to the police a 44-year-old man and 42-year-old woman, both from St Austell, were the other casualties.
Stuart Calder and two other adults died despite rescue attempts by the public and emergency services.
Two people aged 18, a 16 year old and a 15 year old managed to get out of the water and survived.
BBC Correspondent Jon Kay said witnesses described the adults going into the sea for the teenagers.
Speaking to the BBC, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution said the initial reports suggest one the casualties had entered the waves in a rescue attempt. It believes that the victims were caught in a rip current, a fierce stream of water rushing out to sea.