‘Strong swimmer’ drowned on Indonesian holiday

An inquest has heard how an Anglesey woman drowned during a holiday in Indonesia.

Kathryn Cooke Jones (58) from Llanddeusant was on a boat trip with her daughter while staying in the fishing town of Labuan Bajo last July.

A coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death – but he criticised a lack of powers allowing him to properly investigate the circumstances surrounding Mrs Jones’ death.

In a statement read at the Caernarfon hearing, Anna Catrin Jones said she and her mother left the boat party to go swimming and snorkelling around 100 metres offshore in calm seas.

But Mrs Jones decided she was uncomfortable wearing her snorkel and decided to swim back. Ms Jones said she had no concern about her mother going alone because she was a ‘strong swimmer’ and watched her return.

At one point, she saw Mrs Jones floating on her back – one of her favourtite techniques.

But when she saw a body being pulled from the water and onto a boat, she realised it was Mrs Jones. As a medical student, she tried to revive her by giving CPR.

It took an hour for the boat to return to shore – Mrs Jones was taken to a local hospital, but despite the efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Her body was returned to North Wales for a post-mortem examination – a Home Office pathologist told the Caernarfon hearing that there were no signs of coronary disease or injury.

But Dr Mark Lord said her lungs were waterlogged – a sign typical of a case of drowning.

In his summing up, North West Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones said deaths abroad should be investigated by local authorities instead of coroners in the UK.

He said there were no suspicious circumstances in Mrs Jones’ death – but added that given more powers, he would have questioned those who were on the boat to establish why a strong swimmer ended up drowning.

Mrs Jones’ family was not present at the inquest on Tuesday (12th February).

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