Teacher died in freak paddle board accident in Cornwall, inquest told

A Cheltenham teacher died in a freak paddleboard accident, an inquest has heard.

Simon Flynn went away for short break with partner Chia Appleby to Cornwall, while he was recovering from coronavirus.

An inquest into his death heard the 42-year-old was paddleboarding with Appleby in the Camel Estuary, when the current took him towards a moored boat, and he jumped into the sea, reports Gloucestershire Live.

Appleby told the hearing he was a good swimmer and did a lot of water sports. However, he was suffering with “really bad insomnia” and had chronic fatigue, from the coronavirus earlier in the year. Still attached to his ankle leash, he was unable to get free, and the force of the current pushed him under the water. According to The Guardian she said: “I looked behind. I could see he had gone under the boat. I could see that all his body was under the boat. He just got stuck underneath the boat.”

Appleby jumped into the water to try to help but could not swim against the current and screamed for help.

Financial services operations manager Charlie Palmer saw the incident unfolding from the Rock Sailing Club, where he was having his lunch. He paddled out, dived in, undid the leash and pulled Flynn to the surface. Other rescuers arrived but could not save Flynn.

A postmortem concluded Flynn died from drowning and also suffered a minor head injury. 

At the inquest in Truro, the coroner confirmed that it was an accidental death, reports BBC News.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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