Retired Sheffield teacher died trying to get log from water, inquest hears

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A retired South Yorkshire teacher died after getting into difficulty in the sea near his holiday home, his inquest heard.

David Brown, aged 68, of Highcliffe Road, High Storrs, Sheffield, was trying to retrieve a log from the water at Hestan Island in the Solway Firth, near Dumfries, Scotland, when he got into trouble on September 12.

His inquest, at Sheffield Coroner’s Court yesterday, heard Mr Brown was visiting the island with his wife, Jane, and another couple to work on a cottage there when the tragedy happened.

The court was told Mr Brown – who was aware of the dangerous currents and never went swimming in the area – was reaching for the log when he got caught in the current.

His wife and friends, who were on the shore, tried to rescue him.

The inquest heard Mr Brown began swimming to the shore and there was an unsuccessful attempt to get a rope to him.

He was a metre from a piece of polystyrene, which had been attached to rope, when he went under the surface.

Mr Brown, who taught physics at Thomas Rotherham College, Rotherham, for 35 years, was pulled from the water by a local man and taken to the shore in his boat.

A lifeboat crew also arrived on the scene, but despite the best efforts to resuscitate Mr Brown he was pronounced dead later at Dumfries Royal Infirmary.

A post mortem concluded Mr Brown died as a result of hypothermia and coronary heart disease.

Chris Dorries, South Yorkshire West coroner, recorded Mr Brown’s death as an accident.

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