British tourist struck down with the 'bends' dies on Maldives diving holiday

Coroner issues warning over adventure holidays after Melanie Stoddart's death

Updated: 
British tourist struck down with the 'bends' dies on Maldives diving holiday

A British holidaymaker died after being struck down with 'the bends' on a scuba diving trip in the Maldives.

Melanie Stoddart, 38, died of decompression sickness after it took nine hours to get her to a decompression chamber.

She was visiting the island on a 12-day holiday with her boyfriend but within two days of her arrival, Ms Stoddart collapsed on the deck of the MV Sea Spirit after completing her third dive of the day. Melanie was taken to the exclusive Alimatha Aquatic Resort nearby.

But there was no boat or plane available to take her to hospital and she soon lost consciousness.

Maldives - tourism village

According to the Daily Mail, Melanie's parents, Peter, 68, and Irene, 64, have slammed the "sheer incompetence" of authorities in the Maldives.

A speed boat only arrived after insurance checks were carried out and when she was taken to hospital the doctor failed to treat her for decompression sickness.

She passed away the next morning.

Manchester Evening News reports that an inquest in Derbyshire heard how Ms Stoddart was an experienced diver and had qualified to teach others the activity.

Assistant Coroner Paul McCandless warned other British divers who are planning adventure holidays in remote destinations to ensure they know what emergency facilities are available before they book.

Melanie's father Peter said there were "discrepancies" in the reports from police and tour company Scuba Tours Worldwide.

"The time lapse was nine hours and that is just not acceptable," he said.

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