A teenager was put into a coma for three weeks after nearly drowning at a Sussex beach and was told his dad was dead when he woke up, a court heard today (Tuesday, November 1).
Ankush Dupar, 17, got into difficulty in the sea at Camber Sands while on a day trip with his mother and father Mohit Dupar, who also struggled and drowned on July 24, the same day as Gustavo Silva Da Cruz.
The father and son from Middlesex were pulled from the water and taken to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, where Mr Dupar, 36, died four days later having suffered ‘irreversible’ brain damage.
His death after getting into difficulty at Camber Sands was not previously known before papers revealed it ahead of today’s inquest.
The son was put into a coma for three weeks and woke up in St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where he was told his father had died.
In a statement read out in court, the teenager originally from India said he ‘lost everything’ and the beach should be closed after seven deaths this summer.
“And after our accident I heard that five more people died on that beach, why did you make that I think it’s better that you close that beach,” he said.
“At that day I lost everything, my dad was everything for me, I love him more than anything on the Earth and my dad was everything for me here and I lost him.”
The coroner’s court heard how the family, of Cranmer Road, Hayes, went to the beach for a day trip on the sunny Sunday which ended in tragedy.
After playing around in the shallows, the father went further out to help someone who was drowning, believed to be Mr Silva Da Cruz, according to the son’s statement.
There were conflicting reports on whether the Dupars could swim or not as the son said his dad could swim well, but his mother Irena said neither could swim.
“I thought my dad was just going for swimming far [out] but I didn’t know that he was going to save someone,” the teenager said.
“When he went too far I called him, ‘dad, why are you going too far for swimming?’ And he said in our language, ‘that someone needs help, someone is drowning in the sea and needs help, I’m going after him you stay here,’ and he was a good swimmer.
“I stayed there and was calling for help and just in a few seconds, water level came up and tides pushed me and I didn’t have any control on my body, and after I don’t remember what happened.
“When I woke up I was in St Thomas’ Hospital and I was in a coma for three weeks and I got news of my father after more than one month after the accident happened.”
Both were pulled from the water and airlifted to hospital – doctors said the father, a construction worker, suffered ‘irreversible’ brain damage and his life support was switched off on July 28.
Coroner Alan Craze decided to adjourn the inquest so the discussion on the safety levels at the beach could be discussed at the same time as the five friends from London who also died at Camber Sands.
So no official verdict on Mr Dupar’s death was given, Mr Craze said he was minded to decide the cause of death was misadventure.
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