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Edward Berry, 24 drowns taking jetski ride in Thailand

A Whitstable man drowned on holiday in Thailand following a jetski accident, an inquest heard.

Edward Berry, 24, of Saddleton Road, was found face down and unconscious in the sea on Monday, November 16, 2015.

Several attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Ed Berry from Whitstable died following a jet ski accident while on holiday in Thailand
Ed Berry from Whitstable died following a jet ski accident while on holiday in Thailand

Assistant coroner James Dillon recorded the cause of death as drowning after a post mortem revealed water in the lungs and no external injuries.

Mr Berry, born in Sidcup, was an assistant surveyor and on the first full day of his excursion with friend Chris Clark – whom he met in June last year during a group holiday.

They spent their first evening partying at the Ark Bar beach resort in Koh Samui.

The following morning, Mr Berry posted a picture on his Facebook page of the two holding drinks on the beach – less than three hours before his death.

Mr Clark said: “It was our first evening, so we had six bottles of Singha beer and some cocktails and got up at about 10am.

Ed Berry was visiting Thailand with a friend when he died
Ed Berry was visiting Thailand with a friend when he died

“We met some people from the previous evening, had some cocktails and went to hire the jet-skis around noon.

“The sea was fine and not choppy but the jetskis were powerful – they appeared to be in good condition.

“We went out to sea together and I went left and Ed turned right. We didn’t really see each other for the next 20 minutes and I don’t recall seeing any lifeguards on the beach.”

Mr Clark told the court he returned to the beach between 15 and 20 minutes later.

He said: “I saw a yellow jetski floating in the water and I kept asking people along the beach where Ed was. They replied that he was still out.

“I saw the jetski floating off the shore about 100 to 150 metres out and thought it had to be Ed’s.”

Several attempts to resuscitate Ed Berry failed
Several attempts to resuscitate Ed Berry failed

Mr Clark continued to ask the jetski company where his friend was and staff went to investigate.

Mr Clark said: “I jumped onto the back of a jetski and when we got there Ed had been pulled out of the water onto the back of another jetski.

“He was blue in the face and the company staff attempted CPR on the beach.

“Two passing girls tried as well because the company staff were not doing it properly.

“An ambulance parked close to the beach and Ed was stretchered away.”

Mr Clark denied that Mr Berry was drunk and claimed he was a strong swimmer.

This led the coroner to believe that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Berry drowned while unconscious.

A map showing where Mr Berry drowned
A map showing where Mr Berry drowned

With no damage reported to the jetski or any external injuries, Edward’s father, Colin Berry, supported the opinion.

He told the inquest: “As a child I used to take him to Greenwich Mariners Sailing Club and he was a very competent swimmer – he would do 25 lengths to warm up.”

Mr Berry’s Thai death certificate gave 1pm as the time of death at the Thai International Hospital.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, assistant coroner James Dillon said: “He hired a jetski while holidaying at a beach resort in Thailand and became separated from the jetski.

“The mechanism as to how this happened there is no evidence of.

“He was found unconscious in the sea and attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. The means by which he came to be in the sea and unconscious were unwitnessed.

“There was no obvious injury confirmed at the scene or post mortem.”

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