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Lymington man drowned while on sailing holiday in Croatia

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Robert Cook died on the island of Mljet, Croatia
Robert Cook died on the island of Mljet, Croatia

A RETIRED dentist from Lymington drowned just days into a month-long holiday sailing with his brother’s family on a yacht along the Croatian coast, a coroner heard.

Robert Cook (68) had jumped off the yacht after a light lunch and was swimming to the shore near the village of Saplunara, on the island of Mljet, when young children spotted him splashing in the shallow water.

Holidaymakers dragged him onto a beach where German and Croatian doctors rushed to help, the inquest was told.

After five minutes, another yacht arrived with a defibrillator machine. However, after 45 minutes of CPR, with brother Alan attempting the kiss of life, Robert was pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination in Croatia confirmed that Robert, who lived in Almansa Way, died as a result of drowning in the incident on 26th August last year.

However, a UK pathologist concluded the pensioner's cause of death was immersion in water relating to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

a few years before his death.LymingtonBorn in Scotland, Robert was a dentist who ran his own practice, CP Dental in Aldershot, for many years before selling it and retiring to

Brother Alan said: “Robert was a fit and active man. He was a bit breathless in the few days before his death. We were walking around the island normally but he wasn’t as quick as usual.

“He was a good swimmer. It was shallow water which was calm and warm, with children watching what he was doing. My wife thought he might be in trouble, she said to the children, ‘Help him’ but he could have stood up.

“He was only off the yacht for three to four minutes. We were so fortunate to have two doctors on the beach and a defibrillator.”

He added: “Shirley noticed that Robert was splashing and three children were watching. He was face down in the water. Shirley shouted at the children to help him. Robert was unconscious.

“Within seconds a German doctor and Croatian doctor were helping us, and within five minutes we had a defibrillator which arrived from another yacht. After 45 minutes both doctors suggested it was time to stop.”

, assistant coroner Joanna Coleman concluded that Robert had died accidentally.Oxford Coroners’ CourtSitting at

She added: “Born in Scotland, Robert died in Saplunara, Croatia, due to drowning. Robert was pronounced dead at the scene. It was an accidental death.”

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