Mayor of Cambridge, 61-year-old Nigel Gawthrope, reportedly died on Friday after scuba diving with sharks in South Africa where he was on vacation with his wife.
The Mayor of Cambridge who had just arrived for a morning dive at Aliwal Shoal on the Kwazulu Natal coastline, reportedly went into a suspected cardiac arrest and every effort by the dive crew to resuscitate him was abortive.
An SOS was also sent to rescue services, who raced towards their shore base at Umkomaas, 50 kilometres from the Kwazulu-Natal capital Durban. It was learnt that the emergency paramedics who were waiting for the boat belonging to the dive outfit Scuba Addicts, spent nearly 40 minutes trying to revive him on Umkomaas beach before declaring him dead.
‘When Nigel Gawthorpe surfaced he was having trouble breathing,’ said one of the emergency respondents who spoke to condition of anonymity.
‘The crew got him back on the boat and gave him oxygen but minutes later he collapsed. That’s when they started CPR and raced back toward the shore.
‘Mrs Gawthrope was distraught as she watched waiting medics transfer him to the beach and try to revive him. They were at it for nearly 40 minutes but he never responded. He was declared dead on the beach.
‘His wife was overcome by grief and broke down at the scene.’
The couple were on a diving holiday in South Africa and were due to continue on to Mozambique this weekend.