Victims of Tonel beach died through “misadventure”

A CORONER’S court in Wiltshire, England, heard on Tuesday how Robert Fry, Deborah Rose Fry and Barbara Jean Dinsmore, all from the town of Wootten Bassett in Wiltshire, died while rescuing their children from the sea at Tonel beach last October.

Deputy Wiltshire coroner Peter Hatvany recorded a verdict of death by misadventure in the case of all three victims.

He said: “In very tragic circumstances, these three people came by their deaths as a result of trying to rescue their children.”

The three British tourists and a German man, who was also trying to save his daughter, were swept out by the currents and later dragged ashore after they successfully managed to rescue seven children who had been caught in the rising tide.

The coroner heard an account of the incident from Roy Dinsmore, the husband of Jean and praised him for reliving the accident.

He said: “The surf was crashing above our heads making it difficult to stay afloat. I lost my grip on her (Jean) and it took a couple of minutes to discover where she was. She was face down in the sea. She was conscious at that stage, then it was the same scenario, trying to swim and make some headway and keep our heads afloat.”

He added: “The same thing happened again and our bodies were thrown to the bottom of the sand. I lost my grip and at that stage she disappeared. I was struggling to find her. I had been in the water about half an hour. I didn’t know where she was but managed to get myself out of the sea.”

Surfers who had been at the scene described the difficulty of being engulfed by the waves and then trying to drag unconscious bodies from the water.

All the children who had been initially in difficulty in the water survived.

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