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Dover man died after sea urchin sting on holiday in Zanzibar, Tanzania

A father died after being stung by sea urchins while on holiday.

Christopher Wilson, 54, of Capel Street, Dover, was kayaking with his wife in the sea off the coast of Zanzibar, east of Africa, in the summer when they got into difficulties.

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone. Picture: Matthew Walker
Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone. Picture: Matthew Walker

The court heard a written statement by Mr Wilson's wife that the pair's double kayak capsized, leaving them in shallow water.

She said: "The water wasn't rough at all, it was almost like a lagoon.

"When we righted ourselves and I climbed back in, Chris couldn't get back into the kayak without turning the whole thing over again.

"Because the water was still quite shallow, and we could even stand up in places, he said he'd paddle back next to me.

He died after stepping on a sea urchin. Picture: Wiki Commons
He died after stepping on a sea urchin. Picture: Wiki Commons

"A little way back, he started looking very unwell and said he was feeling really sick.

"I asked him if he had swallowed any seawater, because I know doing that can make you sick, but he said he hadn't."

The pair ended up swapping places and made it back to shore, where Mr Wilson rested on a sun lounger for a short time before the pair went back to the room.

Mrs Wilson's statement continued: "He had a shower and lay on the bed next to the air-con, because he was feeling really hot.

"He said he wanted a rest, and kept complaining that his arms hurt.

"I noticed that he had several sea urchin stings in his feet.

"When I came back in, it was immediately obvious that he had died..." - Mrs Wilson

"I asked him if his chest felt alright, and if he wanted me to get a doctor.

"He said no, and I gave him some paracetamol and ibuprofen and went outside to read a book.

"When I came back in, it was immediately obvious that he had died.

"He was completely unresponsive, and his skin had this waxy complexion to it. I called for help, but it took 40 minutes for the doctors to arrive.

"In that time I think a staff member and another guest had been trying to do CPR, but I was in the bathroom.

"When the doctors got to us, there was nothing more they could do."

Assistant Coroner Joanne Andrews confirmed that Mr Wilson's death on Sunday, June 23 was accidental, and gave his cause of death as "One, sea urchin envenomation, and two, fatty infiltration of the Myocardium".

She said: "I would like to put on record my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Wilson, particularly his wife and daughters."

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