'Accidental death' verdict by Welsh coroner on Hondoq boating tragedy

Allan Stanley, 76, of Nefyn, Wales lost his life in tragic circumstances while snorkelling at Hondoq ir-Rummien on 19 June 

A Welsh coroner has recorded a verdict of accidental death as he conclusded his inquest into the death of a swimmer in Gozo.

Allan Stanley, 76, of Nefyn, Wales had been snorkelling at Hondoq ir-Rummien on 19 June when he was struck by a boat's propeller. Stanley died instantly.

His widow Diane is reported to have told the inquest in Caernarfon there was no time to react as everything was over in seconds. 

The inquest heard how Mr Stanley had been partially submerged, snorkelling in the bay, when a rigid inflatable boat started up. "A person snorkelling is very difficult to see," the coroner is recorded as telling the inquest. "At best it's only part of the top of the head that can be seen."

A 19-year-old Maltese man was at the helm of the boat at the time of the accident. "Whether the person operating the boat looked or made any efforts to see if anyone was in the water, I can't say," Pritchard-Jones told the inquest.

Pathologist Dr Mark Lord told the inquest that Mr Stanley suffered head injuries and his death was "likely to have been virtually instantaneous".

The 76-year-old was given first aid by lifeguards and was taken to hospital but he died en-route.

Mr Stanley, a grandfather of two, ran a shop in Penrhos near Pwllheli in Wales. He was described as a keen swimmer who would swim every day when in Malta. His son Russell Stanley described his father as a “hard worker” who had enjoyed holidays in Malta.

Magistrate Paul Coppini is carrying out a inquiry into the incident.

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