Cromer man on holiday in Cyprus drowned in sea, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 14:53 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 05 November 2018

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is based. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is based. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

An IT consultant who was on holiday in Cyprus last summer drowned while swimming in the sea there, an inquest has heard.

Ralph Raby, 70, of Louden Road, Cromer was found with his face down in the water in the coastal village of Kapparis, near Paralimni, on August 28 this year.

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard on Monday (November 5) from a statement by his brother Geoffrey Raby that they were on holiday in the village of Kapparis, where Geoffrey had a villa, with other family members including the dead man’s son, Christopher, and his son’s girlfriend and grandmother.

On the morning of the death the two Raby brothers went for a “gentle five kilometre jog” along a coastal path and returned to the villa to have breakfast before driving to Paralimni and returning again to the villa around 5pm, when Ralph and his brother walked a couple of hundred yards to the beach, the inquest heard.

There were many people in the sea cooling down, as it was 32 degrees Celsius, the inquest was told.

The inquest heard that Mr Raby was “not a strong swimmer” and they went into the sea to a depth of about waist height, where they were joined by Mr Raby’s son’s girlfriend and grandmother.

At about 6pm they said it was time to return to the villa and Geoffrey Raby turned around and saw Christopher Raby’s grandmother walking out but did not see his brother, the inquest was told.

He then saw the body floating in the water with the head submerged, the inquest was told.

An ambulance took Mr Raby to a hospital in Famagusta and the family members returned to the villa before going to the hospital, where a doctor told them Mr Raby had died of a heart attack, the inquest heard.

A letter from Mr Raby’s doctor was also read out. It stated the deceased man had cardiomyopathy and in 2016 after heart failure got a pacemaker.

Area Coroner for Norfolk Yvonne Blake said the inquest’s conclusion was that Mr Raby was “found floating with his face under the water in the sea. It is not known what caused this but a post-mortem in Cyprus has decided that he died of asphyxiation due to drowning”.

The coroner offered her condolences to Mr Raby’s family and friends.

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