Then-mayor of Cambridge Nigel Gawthrope, who died on a scuba diving holiday in South Africa as reported on Divernet in January 2019, had an undiagnosed heart condition.
The experienced diver and underwater photographer was eight months into his mayoral term when he died at Umkomaas on the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
Gawthrope, 61, was on his second boat-dive of the day at around noon when he indicated to his wife Jenny that he wanted to surface, an inquest in Huntingdon heard on 15 July, as reported by Cambridgeshire Live.
Back on the boat he was given oxygen and CPR and on shore paramedics continued attempts to resuscitate him before he was declared dead.
An initial post mortem five days later noted air-bubbles in the ventricles of his heart. Pathologist Dr John Grant pointed out in his report to the inquest that it was not known how the body had been stored and that decompression could lead to gases in the body that might not have been present at the time of death.
However, a further post mortem once Gawthrope’s body was back in the UK had recorded the medical cause of death as acute left ventricular failure, contributed to by ischemic heart disease.