British woman, 65, dies on the shore after swim in Sicily

British woman, 65, who collapsed and died on the shore in front of her partner after finishing a swim in ‘rough and cold’ sea in Sicily while on holiday is named

  • British tourist decided to go for a swim in the rough sea in Sicily when she fell ill
  • The woman, named as Deborah Hooper managed to get out of the water
  • But 65-year-old holidaymaker collapsed and medics were unable to revive her

A 65-year-old British woman who collapsed and died on a beach in Sicily moments after she had finished a swim has been named as Deborah Hooper.

Deborah, 64, was on holiday with retired accountant Andrew Ashman, 72, when she is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest in rough seas.

The pair were walking along a beach at Punta Secca near Ragusa on the Italian island when tragedy struck last Friday.

Police told MailOnline that Deborah had gone for a swim despite the water being ‘rough and cold’ and on an area where there is no life guard on duty during the off season.

She managed to get out of the water and reach the shore, but she collapsed in front of her husband.

Medics were called to the scene, but they were unable to revive the woman, who was pronounced dead. 

The beach is famous for being the seaside home of popular Italian TV detective Inspector Montalbano which is screened on BBC TV and features in the opening credits.

British tourist Deborah Hooper was on holiday with her husband in Punta Secca, a fishing village in southern Sicily (file image), when she became ill and died

Carabinieri police spokesperson Lt Col Giovanni Palatini told MailOnline: ‘The British lady went into the sea which at the time was rough and cold and we believe she had some form of medical episode.

‘Her partner saw she was in trouble as did two other people on the beach but because the sea was rough they couldn’t go in and had to wait until she got closer to the shore.

‘They pulled her out and tried to revive her with the help of paramedics who were called to the scene but there was nothing that could be done to save her.’

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death after conducting an autopsy.

MailOnline has contacted the UK Foreign Office for comment. 

Deborah was originally from Salisbury, Wiltshire, while her partner is from Hampstead, north west London.

Officials said that a local prosecutor and coroner had signed paperwork allowing her to body to be repatriated to Britain and this was expected to happen later this week.

Hooper decided to go for a swim in the rough and cold sea near Punta Secca but she quickly felt unwell, reports local media

The woman’s death comes after a 62-year-old British man died while on holiday with his wife on the Greek island of Crete. 

The man, who has not been named, walked towards the sea but he began feeling unwell and returned to his sunbed next to his wife on the beach of Stalida. 

But as he laid down on the sunbed, he died. 

An ambulance was called and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, local media report. An autopsy is expected to reveal the cause of death.

Last month, a 74-year-old British woman also drowned during a holiday in Crete, with her body being found washed up on a beach on the Greek island on October 5.

CPR was carried out on the woman by rescuers for 30 minutes, but she did not respond. She was rushed to a local hospital – General Hospital St. George – but was pronounced dead.

Last month, a British woman, 45, died after feeling unwell when she swam in the sea in Albufeira, Portugal. 

The woman collapsed on the beach and medics tried to revive her – but she died on the shoreline.

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