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Mati Urb from London died after clifftop fall in Dover

A "delightful" boy died in an accidental cliff fall on his 12th birthday, an inquest heard.

Mati Urb was on holiday with his family when he fell from a clifftop in Dover.

Mati Urb died after a cliff fall in Dover. Photo: GatheringUs website
Mati Urb died after a cliff fall in Dover. Photo: GatheringUs website

The young lad had been walking along the cliffs near Langdon Barracks with his parents, brother and sister when the tragic accident occurred.

An inquest into his death heard the family were on the first day of their Easter holiday, having hired a motor caravan intending to travel the south coast of the country.

However, as they were walking towards the lighthouse at St Margaret's Bay on the evening of Monday, April 4, the family became separated and Mati's mother realised that she could no longer see her son.

As his parents began a desperate search, a passer-by called the coastguard, which immediately informed police of what was described as a "high-risk missing person".

Tragically, a body was then found on a shingle beach at the foot of the cliffs at 7.12pm, just under an hour after the first call.

It was confirmed to be Mati, and was removed from the beach and he was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Subsequent investigations found Mati, who had moved to the country from Estonia the year before, had succumbed to head injuries from the 300ft fall.

Area coroner Katrina Hepburn ruled the death an accident, but added that the reason he had fallen would never be known.

"We simply do not know how it came to happen as it was unwitnessed," she explained.

"Whether he tripped and fell, whether it was the wind – because I do bear in mind it can be particularly windy at the top of the cliffs – or whether he was looking too far over the edge, there is no way to tell.

'Mati was an utterly delightful child...'

"I know it is no comfort [to the family] to have it unexplained as to how he fell from the cliff, but I certainly find that this was an accident in the most tragic circumstances.

"I would like to pass on my most sincere condolences to Mati's family and friends for this most tragic loss."

Martin Hall, had of school at ACS International School Hillingdon, released a statement paying tribute to the "utterly delightful" pupil.

He told how Mati, who had joined the school last August, was already highly popular, with a wry sense of humour and lovely sense of style.

"We are absolutely devastated at the news and send our heartfelt condolences to Mati’s family," Mr Hall said.

Mati had been walking along the White Cliffs of Dover when the incident happened
Mati had been walking along the White Cliffs of Dover when the incident happened

"Mati was an utterly delightful child - inquisitive, friendly and kind, with a thoughtful and considerate manner.

"He enjoyed making people laugh, with his wry sense of humour, and had a lovely sense of style.

"He was making excellent academic progress at school, learning English quickly after joining the school in August 2021, and was highly popular with his fellow students, as well as being held in considerable affection by the school staff.

"We will all miss him greatly.”

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