Thursday, 1 April 2010
Devastated bride of a man who drowned in a freak honeymoon accident on the Costa Del Sol has blamed Spanish authorities for her husband’s death.
Yesterday, a coroner in Chelmsford ruled Russell Hawkes, 34, a welder from Basildon, drowned in a “tragic accident” after going for a paddle in the sea and being caught in treacherous undercurrents. Mr Hawkes and his wife Danielle had only been married for two months when they went on holiday to the Spanish resort of Fuengirola in October, 2008. Despite coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray’s verdict of accidental death, Mrs Hawkes said her husband’s death could have been avoided if the Spanish authorities had provided holidaymakers with more warning about treacherous sea conditions. Speaking at the inquest, Mrs Hawkes said: “If I had the money to sue I would do, but I can't afford to pay for it. “My main concern is the lack of information provided about the health and safety issues. “People were not warned that there is only a flag system about dangerous water between June and September.”
Mr Hawkes died after he decided to go for a swim while taking an after-lunch stroll along the beach with his wife. Mrs Hawkes, who now lives in Milton Keynes, told the inquest she saw him get into trouble, and shouted for help. Her screams got the attention of a group of nearby surfers, who brought Mr Hawkes to shore and battled in vain to save him. The couple were married at Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church in Luton, where Mr Hawkes moved to be with his wife.