Tragic death of Northampton diver killed when boat capsized on holiday with wife and friends

Emergency services rushed to help Richard, but nothing could be done. Credit to South Coast Sun.
Emergency services rushed to help Richard, but nothing could be done. Credit to South Coast Sun.

A Northampton man on holiday with his wife and friends in South Africa was killed when a wave capsized their boat on a diving expedition.

Richard Davies, 54, sadly died "doing what he loved" when an early-morning boat trip off Umkomaas Beach ended in tragedy just minutes after they pushed off from the shore.

At his inquest yesterday (June 13), the coroner heard how Richard was on holiday with his wife and some friends from his diving group from Northampton, Scubanuts.

In a statement read out by the coroner, a member of Scubanuts Helen Bond said: "We pushed out at 7.30am. But as we got into the surf zone, a huge wave came over the top of the boat.

"The boat was tipped onto its right side. I threw myself off and held my breath.

"I felt my lifejacket pull back me to the surface. The boat was upside-down."

The group checked to see everyone was off the boat before swimming for shore. But then they saw one of their members was unconscious in the water. It was Richard.

Helen said: "I noticed his lifejacket was around his ankles and not around his chest.

"It was difficult to help him over the constant waves."

The group was able to swim Richard ashore and immediately began CPR on the rocks. Emergency services arrived shortly afterwards.

Sadly, Richard could not be revived and he passed away.

In a statement read out by the coroner, Richard's wife Alison said: "Richard was a chatty and likeable man. We had been together 28 years."

The Scubanuts held dive in Richard's memory in February, during which they left a tribute stone at the bottom of Stoney Cove diving centre in Leicester.