British tourist dies while snowboarding in Andorra

British snowboarder, 59, dies after smashing into tree in front of his wife while on the slopes in Andorra

  • An unnamed 59-year-old British man has died while snowboarding in Andorra
  • The incident happened around 1pm on Monday at the Grandvalira Ski Resort
  • His wife was also on the slopes, but she was not with him at the time of death
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A British snowboarder has died after smashing into a tree at an Andorran ski resort.

The unnamed 59-year-old was pronounced dead after being rushed to base station with life-threatening injuries following the accident.

His wife is understood to have been on the ski slopes with him although he was alone when he hurt himself.

The incident happened around 1pm this afternoon/yesterday afternoon (MON) at the emblematic Avet slope, which is one of Grandvalira Ski Resort’s most famous slopes and has hosted prestigious competitions such as the 2012 Women’s Skiing World Cup.


A British man has died while snowboarding at the Grandvalira Ski Resort in Andorra (pictured) 

Police have launched a routine inquiry.

A spokesman for Grandvalira Andorra said: “Grandvalira regrets the death of a British tourist who this afternoon has suffered an accident on the Avet slope in the Soldeu sector.

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“The man, who was practising snowboard, lost control and hit a tree, suffering serious injuries and going into cardiac arrest.

“The base station rescue teams rapidly activated the emergency protocol and rushed to the scene of the incident to assist the injured man.


The incident happened around 1pm on Monday on the Avet slope, which is one of Grandvalira Ski Resort’s most famous

“They subsequently transferred him to the bottom of the slope. Despite all attempts to revive him, he died minutes later.

“The incident happened on the Avet slope, which is classified as a black slope and over the last few days and in several parts, has been signposted with warnings about hard-packed snow conditions.

“This slope is recommended for users with a high degree of skiing expertise.

“The dead man was skiing alone when the accident happened. Andorra’s police force has opened an investigation to clarify the possible causes.

“Grandvalira regrets this terrible loss of life and would like to pass on their condolences to the man’s family and friends.” 

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Pilot dies in horrific fireball after crashing plane in Botswana

Pilot dies in horrific fireball after crashing ‘stolen’ plane into baby shower venue ‘in bid to kill his wife after furious row’ in Botswana

  • Charl Viljoen is said to have stormed out of a club house and stolen a small plane
  • He allegedly made fly-pasts and a threatening phone call leading guests to flee 
  • Footage showed the plane crashing in a huge fireball, in which he died 
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A pilot died in a horrific fireball after crashing a plane into a club in Botswana in an apparent bid to kill his wife after a row. 

Charl Viljoen, a pilot with Kalahari Air Services, is said to have stormed out of the club house where his wife was attending a baby shower before stealing a small aircraft. 

He allegedly made a number of threatening fly-pasts and a menacing phone call to someone at the club, prompting guests to flee for safety.  

Footage showed the plane flying barely above the ground before it crashed into the venue near Mochudi, Botswana, close to the country’s border with South Africa. 




Charl Viljoen, a pilot with Kalahari Air Services, is said to have stormed out of the club house where his wife Natasha (right, and pictured with him, left) was attending a baby shower


A ‘stolen’ plane flies just above the ground before crashing into a club house in Botswana in what witnesses said was an attempt by the pilot to kill his wife


The plane approaches the club house where his wife was said to be one of the guests at a baby shower 

The pilot was killed but his wife, Natasha Viljoen, and other guests were unharmed after they had grown suspicious and left the club house.  

One witness told The Citizen: ‘They had a party at Matsieng, a baby shower, and that’s one of the Kalahari Air Services pilots and he had a fight with his wife there. 

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‘He actually hit his wife, and everybody told him to f**k off because you don’t treat a woman like that.’

The Matsieng flying club in Botswana said the pilot had been an ‘uninvited guest’ at the function in its aerodrome. 

They said he had made ‘a number of low level fly pasts’, sparking fears for the guests’ safety and prompting them to evacuate the club. 




The plane crashed in a horrific fireball (right) and destroyed vehicles (right) which were parked near the club house in Botswana 


Charl Viljoen, pictured, allegedly made a number of threatening fly-pasts and a menacing phone call to someone at the club, prompting guests to flee for safety




Charl Viljoen is said to have called from the cockpit to ask if his wife Natasha (pictured together left) was still at the baby shower venue. Pictured right: the wreckage of the crash 

It is also claimed he had called a friend at the party while he was in the cockpit and asked if his wife was still there.  

He then made an ‘extreme low level run’ in which the aircraft crashed into the club house, destroying the building and traffic control tower and killing him. 

The club added that they believed the pilot ‘had no permission to fly the aircraft involved.’ 

The fire resulting from the crash also destroyed 13 vehicles which were parked nearby but nobody else was injured, the club said.    

The plane involved was described as a 2016 Beechcraft Kingair B200 aircraft A2-MBM.  

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Girl, 4, dies after falling ill in east Yorkshire doctor's surgery

A GIRL, four, died after she fell ill in her local doctor's surgery.

She was rushed to hospital in an air ambulance but later died.

The little girl was at The Ridings Medical Group in East Riding, east Yorkshire, when paramedics and police were called to the scene.

An air ambulance landed in a field across the road from the surgery.

She was rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary but police have confirmed the girl later died in hospital on Wednesday.

A Humberside Police spokesperson said police were called after "concerns were raised for the safety of the patient" at the doctor's office.

The child's death is not being treated as suspicious.

Her family are currently being supported by specialist police officers.

The spokesperson said: "Yesterday we were called to a medical practice on Ferry Road in South Cave to the concern for safety of a patient at the centre.

"The patient, a four year old girl, was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary. Sadly the girl died in hospital a short time later. Her family are being supported and have asked to be allowed to grieve their loss in private.

"Her death is not being treated as suspicious and a file has been prepared for HM Coroner."




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Maine fire chief dies after suffering medical episode while attending firefighter's funeral

Berwick (Maine) Fire Capt. Joel Barnes, left, and Oxford (Maine) Fire Chief Gary Sacco. Sacco was pronounced dead after attending Barnes’ funeral.
(Erin Thomas via AP/Facebook, File)

A Maine fire chief died Sunday after suffering a medical episode while attending the funeral of a firefighter who was killed battling a blaze earlier this month, the state's governor said.

The Portland Fire Department told Fox 23 it responded to a parking garage outside the downtown Cross Insurance Arena approximately one hour before the scheduled start of the funeral service for Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes. Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sacco was pronounced dead at Maine Medical Center. Further details were not immediately available.

Sacco was named Oxford fire chief in June 2017. He previously retired as chief in nearby New Gloucester in 2015 after 12 years in that job.

"Our hearts, already broken by the loss of Captain Joel Barnes, also mourn the loss of Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sacco. In a testament to his own character, Chief Sacco lost his life while honoring that of his fallen brother, fellow firefighter Captain Barnes," Maine Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement. "I join with people across Maine in offering my thoughts and prayers to Chief Sacco's family and friends, the Oxford Fire Department, and all of Maine's first responders. The State of Maine has given two of its best to the Heavens."

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Barnes, 32, was injured and later died after he shielded a colleague from a March 1 four-alarm fire at an apartment building in Berwick. He and another firefighter encountered a wall of flames on the third floor and had to be rescued. Five firefighters were injured that day, and Barnes died at a hospital in New Hampshire.

Berwick Fire Chief Dennis Plante said Barnes had made "the ultimate sacrifice" and called him "my hero."

Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes pulling a ladder on the scene of a June 2017 structure fire in Somersworth N.H. (Erin Thomas via AP, File)

Barnes became the first Maine firefighter to die while battling a fire in nearly 40 years. Stephen McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety told The Associated Press that the last time it happened was in 1980 when Portland Firefighter Joseph Cavallaro Jr. died of burns and asphyxiation while fighting a three-alarm fire at the Phoenix Nightclub.

The day started with a private Mass for Barnes in Old Orchard, where he grew up. Then a procession escorted Barnes' body up I-95 to South Portland, where the casket was placed in a fire truck.

From there, the procession headed across the Casco Bay Bridge where fire boats saluted Barnes en route to the arena, one of the few venues in the state large enough to host such a gathering.

Barnes' uncle, also named Joel, grew teary as he described a nephew who grew up dedicated to serving the community as a firefighter. He recalled how an elderly neighbor once gave a plastic firefighter hat to then-toddler Joel, who soon became "obsessed" with studying fire science books and preparing himself for a career that took him from Maine, to Massachusetts, to South Carolina and back to his family in Maine.

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"Without hesitation, he gave his life to save the life of another firefighter," Barnes said. "And he did it in the most selfless, courageous way possible."

Mills lowered flags to half-staff to honor Barnes. She said his life and service exemplified "unfaltering courage, selflessness and love for his fellow man."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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5-year-old girl dies after doctors dismiss appendicitis symptoms

A 5-year-old girl whose appendicitis was dismissed by doctors as a tummy bug said “Daddy, I love you” moments before her tragic death.

An inquest heard Elspeth Moore told medics her stomach “felt on fire” but her parents were told she simply had a viral infection.

They took her home – without being given advice on how to monitor her symptoms – and she tragically died in her bed several days later as her worried father lay next to her.

Despite being diagnosed with viral gastroenteritis, Elspeth was actually suffering from appendicitis which developed into peritonitis and sepsis.

The inquest heard Elspeth had been sent home from school on July 2 last year following a bout of diarrhoea.

Her “freaked out” parents rushed her to Southampton Children’s Hospital after her GP said she was dehydrated and should be put on an IV drip.

Instead they took her observations, finding she had a fever of 38.3C and an increased heart-rate.

They set up a ‘fluid challenge’ whereby her parents gave her 5ml of water every five minutes for two hours to see if she could ‘keep it down’.

As it was past Elspeth’s bedtime, her parents asked to leave the hospital and continue the fluid challenge at home, meaning a second set of observations were not carried out.

The inquest heard they were allowed to leave without a discharge letter, and were only given verbal advice by the doctor.

Speaking at Winchester Coroner’s Court, Elspeth’s father Steven Moore said staff told them they were “happy” for her to be discharged.

At home the next day Elspeth seemed a little better, he said, eating more food than she had done previously.

But by July 5 her condition had deteriorated and her high fever and diarrhoea had given way to vomiting.

Devastated dad Mr Moore told how he stayed up, going into Elspeth’s room every half hour to check on her before finally going in at 11pm to see if she was awake.

“I said ‘I’m going to stay in here with you’, and lay down on the floor next to her. I said ‘love you’ and she said ‘love you daddy’.”

Several minutes later he said he heard a “weird noise, like something was catching in her throat”.

When he asked if she was okay and asked her to sit up, Elspeth didn’t respond and he discovered she was unconscious.

He and his wife called an ambulance but Elspeth was pronounced dead an hour later at A&E in Southampton General Hospital.

Recording a death by natural causes, Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said that gastro enteritis was not an “unreasonable diagnosis” as Elspeth had an unusually positioned appendix.

However, he said doctors could have advised the parents better.

“I find however there was insufficient advice given on how to look after Elspeth at home and most importantly what to look out for,” he said.

“Although Dr Hawkins gave general advice it was not clear to them.”

Dr Peter Wilson, clinical director for women and children’s services at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said:  “Elspeth’s death was a tragic event and no words can express the profound regret we feel in such circumstances.

“Diagnosing appendicitis early can be difficult due to overlapping or missing symptoms and this was acknowledged by the coroner, however, an extensive investigation highlighted a number of areas in need of improvement.

“These included making changes to the management of patients in the emergency department and paediatric assessment unit and we are developing a new patient safety checklist.

“We have also made improvements to the way safety netting advice is given to parents upon discharge from hospital as a result, ensuring that patients are either given written advice or sent advice electronically using the comprehensive Healthier Together website.

“We appreciate greatly the time Mr and Mrs Moore have given to us at such a difficult time to understand the findings of our investigation and support us in making changes to improve practice.”

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Chaos Erupts As TSA Agent Dies At Airport Of Apparent Suicide

Chaos ensued at Florida’s Orlando International Airport on Saturday, February 2, 2019 after an off-duty Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer apparently killed himself there.

As CNN reported, the as-yet unnamed man, in his 40s, allegedly committed suicide by leaping from a hotel balcony inside the airport.

The bizarre death sent shocked travelers to panic and scatter, causing long flight delays.

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Cops have said that the man jumped from the Hyatt Regency Hotel onto an atrium floor in the main terminal overlooking a security checkpoint area at about 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.

TSA spokeswoman Jenny Burke identified the man as an off-duty TSA officer.

The man was found in critical condition and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

One traveler shuddered, “I’m probably the last person who saw him. I thought he was working” on the balcony.

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“I heard the boom” when the man fell, he added.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer’s family, friends and everyone in our TSA family,” the TSA statement read after the stunning incident. “TSA will continue to work with the Orlando Police Department and GOAA (Greater Orlando Aviation Authority) to return operations to normal.”

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Boy, 13, dies after being hit by car while riding bike in Cheshire as Macclesfield Town FC pays tribute

The 13-year-old was involved in a collision with a silver Dodge Caliber on Silk Road at 8.13am today.

He was taken to the Royal Manchester Hospital with 'serious injuries', where he later died.

Police attended the scene, keeping the road closed until 2.44pm today.

The boy's family are receiving care from specialist officers.

Police are appealing for witnesses to provide information about the incident.

POLICE CALLING FOR WITNESSES

Cheshire police said in a statement: "Anyone who was in the area at the time and has information but has not yet spoken to police should call Cheshire Police on 101 or contact via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries/ quoting IML number 307292."

You can send dash cam footage to Cheshire police here.

Macclesfield Town Football Club tweeted their condolences to the boy's family.

The club said: "We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of the teenage boy who was involved in a tragic accident on the Silk Road this morning.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, as well as everyone affected by this devastating news."



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Holidaymaker, 17, dies in Thailand motorcycle crash

Holidaymaker, 17, dies in Thailand motorcycle crash when he collided head on with vehicle while overtaking his friend

  • Anthony Ryan, 17, crashed motorbike in Thailand on Thursday and died at scene
  • His mother Clare Wright, 40, from Bradford, said: ‘We just want to get him home’
  • Teenager Anthony had recently moved to Cornwall to start work as a labourer

A teenager has died in a horror smash after overtaking his friend on a motorbike and colliding with another vehicle head on while on holiday in Thailand.

Anthony Ryan, 17, was enjoying his first trip abroad when he crashed on Thursday.

According to family, Anthony, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was overtaking his friend when the crash occurred and he died at the scene.

Now his family are raising money to pay for his body to be brought back to the UK.

Anthony Ryan, 17, pictured, died in a crash after overtaking his friend on a motorbike and colliding with another vehicle head on while on holiday in Thailand on Thursday

His devastated mother, Clare Wright, 40, said: ‘He was on his first holiday with his boss from work. 

‘He was an amazing boy. He had a good job and was going back to college.

‘He had his whole life ahead of him and was the eldest of five brothers. They are going to be lost without their big brother and we just want to get him home now.’


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Anthony had recently moved to Cornwall to start work as a labourer and had planned to start a college business course.

A message on the GoFundMe fundraising page describes him as ‘a boy who loved life and loved everyone around him’.

It says: ‘He found himself a good job and started to love his new life then a tragedy happened after he travelled to Thailand with a friend.


Anthony, pictured left and right, had recently moved from Bradford to Cornwall and was working as a labourer while planning to start a business course at college

‘He had a tragic motorbike accident and died. He’s now stuck in Thailand, his family and friends are desperate to get him home to give him a proper burial.

‘Let’s all give him the send off he deserves.’

Tributes from heartbroken friends have been paid on social media.

Ian Russell wrote: ‘RIP big man, Heaven got another good lad.’

Shane Rhodes added: ‘It’s awful what happened, I’ll never forget him. R.I.P Anthony.’

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: ‘Our staff are assisting the family of a British man who has died in Thailand.’

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Child dies and elderly patient infected because of pigeon droppings

Child dies and elderly patient was infected by bacteria from pigeon droppings which were pumped around the ventilation system of filthy hospital

  • Scot Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said a child died due to pigeon droppings
  • The bird droppings caused an infection and an elderly patient was also affected
  • Post- mortem found Cryptococcus bacteria had contributed to the child’s death 
  • Infection pumped around ventilation system of £1bn Glasgow super hospital 

A child died after contracting a fungal infection caused by pigeon droppings at Scotland’s £1billion flagship super-hospital.

A post-mortem examination carried out last month revealed Cryptococcus bacteria had contributed to the young patient’s death, MSPs were told.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman made the revelation yesterday as she launched a major review of the design of the hospital following a series of incidents since it opened.

The airborne infection is thought to have entered the ventilation system after pigeons got into a plant room at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

This chair covered in pigeon poo was left in a filthy smoking area for three months at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow

The NHS board said an elderly patient was also infected with the bacteria at the hospital but died from an unrelated cause.

And it emerged that two other patients at QEUH have contracted a different fungal infection in recent days, and a separate probe has been launched into its source – thought to be a water leak.

Critics said the public would be ‘shocked’ that pigeons and infections could ‘kill patients’ in Scotland.


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The state-of-the-art hospital was built for the Scottish Government at a cost of almost £1billion and opened at the end of April 2015.

But Miss Freeman said there appeared to be a ‘number of instances’ where the fabric of the building was ‘less than satisfactory’.

There has been a catalogue of problems since the QEUH opened including blocked drains, dirty wards and an incident last year when bacteria were found in the water supply of the children’s cancer ward.

A child patient was killed at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow after contracting an infection from pigeon droppings

After visiting the hospital yesterday morning, the Health Secretary said: ‘I have agreed a review, with external expert advice, that will look at the design of the building, the commissioning of the work, the construction of the building, the handover of the building and the maintenance of the building, in order to ensure we identify where issues were raised that should have been addressed and where maintenance programmes now should be perhaps more robust or more frequent.’

Miss Freeman announced the review after setting out ‘clear factual points’ on the two patient deaths to MSPs at Holyrood.

She said Cryptococcus had initially been identified in one patient in November last year. The unnamed person was discharged for palliative care and the bug was not linked to their death until the following month.

She added: ‘In December a post-mortem of a child who has passed away confirmed that Cryptococcus was both present and a contributory factor in their death.’

This case triggered additional infection control measures by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), including prescribing anti-fungal medication to ‘vulnerable patients’.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman made the revelation yesterday as she launched a major review

The minister said: ‘I am confident the board have taken all the steps they should to ensure and maintain patient safety.’

Miss Freeman confirmed that two further patients had contracted a separate infection.

She said: ‘I have been advised that there has been a fungal infection, not connected to the one that we are discussing. It affects two patients… the source of that infection is being pursued. Additional safety measures have been put in place including air sampling and enhanced cleaning. It is unrelated to the infection caused by pigeon excrement.’

Labour health spokesman Monica Lennon said: ‘I think the people of Scotland will feel it is absolutely extraordinary that in a modern hospital – Scotland’s flagship and apparently super-hospital no less – we have a situation where pigeons and infections can kill patients. If this unthinkable and deadly infection can happen at the flagship Queen Elizabeth, what is to stop it happening at other hospitals?’

She pressed Miss Freeman on when the Government had been alerted to the issue, after reports that a QEUH outpatient had contacted previous health secretary Shona Robison in March 2018 regarding problems with pigeons.

Miss Freeman said a thorough search of records had found no trace of this letter.

NHSGGC said patient safety is its top priority and welcomed the review. It confirmed that two patients had tested positive for a fungal organism ‘totally unconnected to Cryptococcus’. 

One is receiving treatment while the other does not require medical help. 

The ‘likely source’, a water leak, has been repaired and investigations continue.

A spokesman added: ‘It is important to recognise that the staff at QEUH provide excellent care to many thousands of patients admitted every year and that the hospital has very good clinical outcomes.’ 

The shocking litany of blunders at £1billion state-of-the-art Glasgow ‘super hospital’ 

March 2016 Operations cancelled because of sewage leak.

April 2016 Problems found at specialist children’s mental health ward. Its rooftop garden was deemed a health and safety risk; locks not fit for purpose and no staff alarm system to call for back-up.

September 2016 Patients and visitors complain of getting stuck in lifts.

March 2017 ‘Significant concerns’ raised by Healthcare Environment Inspectorate during unannounced visit – including dust and body fluids on patient trolleys and mattresses.

October 2017 Contractors carrying out routine maintenance smash a section of glass on the building’s roof. Emergency helicopters diverted.

November 2017 Automatic entrance doors opening too frequently because of sensor problems. Reception staff given heaters to keep them warm.

December 2017 Cladding similar to Grenfell Tower also found at the QEUH and removed.

March 2018 Bacteria found in the water supply at the Royal Hospital for Children, which is part of the site. Children with cancer, who have low immunity, infected and treated with antibiotics. Taps and ventilation system in the area now being upgraded.

August 2018 Pane of glass fell ten floors and shattered near front entrance, said to be the third time this had happened. Safety netting installed.

October 2018 Blocked waste-pipe damaged ceiling at the entrance of the building.

December 2018 Two patients contract Cryptococcus, linked to pigeons nesting in walls, but this is not made public until weeks later, when Jeane Freeman confirms infection contributed to the death of a child.

January 2019 Health bosses confirm that two other patients have been infected with an unspecified fungal organism caused by a ‘water leak’. 

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Mayor of Cambridge, 61, dies after diving with sharks in S Africa

Mayor of Cambridge, 61, dies after scuba diving with sharks in South Africa despite frantic attempts to revive him in front of his distraught wife

  • Nigel Gawthorpe, 61, an experienced diver, died of a suspected heart attack
  • He had just surfaced from a dive, had difficulty breathing, then collapsed
  • Eye-witnesses say the dive crew and paramedics spent 40 minutes doing CPR
  • He and wife Jenny were on holiday in the South African region of Kwazulu Natal 

Nigel Gawthrope, 61, seen here wearing his chains of office, died on Friday in South Africa

The Mayor of Cambridge died on Friday after scuba diving with sharks in South Africa despite frantic attempts to revive him in front of his distraught wife.

Councillor Nigel Gawthrope, 61, had just surfaced from a morning dive at Aliwal Shoal on the Kwazulu Natal coastline when he went into suspected cardiac arrest.

While the dive crew tried to resuscitate him they sent out an SOS to rescue services and raced towards their shore base at Umkomaas, 50 kilometres from the Kwazulu-Natal capital Durban.

Emergency paramedics who were waiting for the boat belonging to the dive outfit Scuba Addicts spent nearly 40 minutes trying to revive him on Umkomaas beach before declaring him dead.

Sources on the scene say Cllr Gawthrope’s wife Jenny looked on in horror and then collapsed at the scene.

the former Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Nigel Gawthorpe, pictured scuba diving two years ago

‘When Nigel Gawthorpe surfaced he was having trouble breathing,’ said one of the emergency respondents who spoke to condition of anonymity.

‘The crew got him back on the boat and gave him oxygen but minutes later he collapsed. That’s when they started CPR and raced back toward the shore.

‘Mrs Gawthrope was distraught as she watched waiting medics transfer him to the beach and try to revive him. They were at it for nearly 40 minutes but he never responded. He was declared dead on the beach.

‘His wife was overcome by grief and broke down at the scene.’

The couple were on a diving holiday in South Africa and were due to continue on to Mozambique this weekend.

Umlomaas-based dive company Scuba Addicts, which runs dives at the popular Aliwal Shoal reef and at Ponta Do Ouro in Mozambique, confirmed the Gawthropes were their clients but declined to comment further.

On Friday South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) released a statement about the diving tragedy without revealing Gawthrope’s name.

‘At 12h30, NSRI Station 39 Rocky Bay were activated to respond to Umkomaas where a dive charter boat raised the alarm and were heading towards shore from a dive reporting CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts being performed on a 61 year old British man who had surfaced from a dive before going into cardiac arrest on the boat. 

‘NSRI Station 39 Rocky Bay, Netcare 911 ambulance services, eThekwini Surf Lifesaving lifeguards and Police Search and Rescue responded and rendezvoused with the dive boat on its arrival on-shore and despite extensive CPR efforts by paramedics the man has sadly been declared deceased. 

‘The crew of the dive charter boat are commended for their extensive efforts to resuscitate the man and condolences are conveyed to family and friends. 

‘The body of the man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.’

The Mayor was remembered by the city council leader as ‘a one-off’. Cllr Herbert continued: ‘he will be hugely missed and long remembered on the council but even more so by his Labour colleagues as a friend’

Cllr Gawthorpe pictured with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a Facebook post from2017

Aliwal Shoal is a 1,5 km wide offshore reef south of Durban that is a widely regarded as one of the best scuba diving spots in the world.

Cllr Gawthorpe, an experience scuba diver, was eight months into his role as Cambridge Mayor after he was elected in May 2018 and tributes have been pouring since the news broke.

East of England MEP Alex Mayer said: ‘This is such a shock and deeply, deeply sad news.’

He said Nigel was a ‘committed’ councillor in the area ‘and great to go out campaigning with. He always greeted you with a smile and had a great sense of humour’.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of the city’s 26 Labour councillors and of the city council, said: ‘Our thoughts and emotions are with his wife Jenny so far away, and with Nigel’s family and close friends at this truly horrible time.

‘Nigel was a one-off and he will be hugely missed and long remembered on the council but even more so by his Labour colleagues as a friend.’

Labour MP for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner, wrote on Twitter: ‘So sad to hear the shocking news about my good friend and comrade Nigel Gawthrope.

‘Cambridge robbed of the remainder of his mayoralty and we’ve all lost a true man of the people.’

A spokesman for Cambridge City Council added: ‘Our thoughts are with Jenny, his family, friends and close council colleagues as they come to terms with this devastating loss.’

Cllr Gawthrope was born in Leeds in 1957 and moved to Cambridge in 1962.

He  began his working life as a bookbinder for Cambridge University Press and worked for the publisher for 38 years until 2012.

He was a staunch Trade Unionist throughout his working life, representing fellow print workers for over 30 years including as Father of the Chapel from 1980 until he left the company.

The Marine Protected Area is best known for its abundance of ragged tooth sharks and oceanic blacktip sharks which allow divers to get close without attacking them. It’s also home to soft corals and a variety of tropical and subtropical fish.

It was named after the Aliwal after a ship that sailed from London was nearly wrecked there in 1849. The captain, James Anderson, then wrote a letter to a local newspaper to warn other seafarers of the dangerously shallow and unchartered reef

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