Published: 16:41, 10 October 2011
by Jamie Stephens
A charity bike ride along the Viking Coastal Trail was hit by tragedy at the weekend after one of the participants died of a suspected cardiac arrest.
Two ambulances and Kent Air Ambulance were called out to Reculver Towers just after 1pm on Sunday (October 9) after reports a man in his 60s had collapsed.
On arriving at the scene paramedics began treating the man who was described in an ‘extremely serious condition’ and was unconscious and not breathing.
He was then taken by road to the QEQM hospital but unfortunately died en route.
A witness out walking his dog at the time said: ‘He collapsed right at the end by the path to Reculver Towers.
"Ambulance crews turned up and they were there for about 40 minutes trying to resuscitate him.
Nancy Prior, head of events at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which organised the fundraiser, said: "We are deeply saddened that a gentleman has died following the ride and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends."
The sudden death cast a shadow over a successful sixth year for the Viking Bike Ride which saw 800 riders braving the rain to do their bit for charity.
The event takes cyclists around East Kent’s scenic villages and coastline with checkpoints at the Viking Ship at Pegwell Bay, Jossy Bay, Reculver and Canterbury.
Riders had the option of cycling from one checkpoint to another or completing the 28 mile or 55 mile circular routes.
The event hopes to raise £50,000 to help fund the vital work of the nation’s heart charity.