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York man’s tragic holiday drowning “accidental death”

A York man who went on holiday as a last minute replacement companion for a friend drowned accidentally a coroner in York has ruled.

Clive David Whitehead offered to accompany his friend Alison Jones to Kalkan in Turkey after her sister had to pull out of the holiday at the last minute in April last year.

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After arriving at the resort, they slept and went down to Patara Beach at lunchtime, where they met another couple on holiday.

Mr Whitehead went into the sea with one of the other holidaymakers and Ms Jones told the inquest that she saw him waving about 25 metres offshore and summoned help.

Mr Whitehead was brought out of the water by two Turkish men but efforts to resuscitate him failed.

The inquest heard that reports showed that Mr Whitehead had not consumed any alcohol before going into the sea. The water was, however, described as “choppy” at the time of Mr Whitehead’s death.

Mr Whitehead lived on a boat and was a trained sailor and pilot. He worked as a piano tuner and had agreed to accompany Ms Jones on holiday so that she would not have to travel alone on the trip, which departed from Leeds Bradford Airport.

The assistant deputy coroner David Liddell said:

“From the evidence before me, I can only conclude this was a very unfortunate accident and in the circumstances that will be my verdict.”

Dated: 11/05/2012

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