Thursday, 15 December 2016

12/15/2016 02:48:00 pm
  • Bryony Freestone, 19, was found washed up on a Koh Chang beach in August.
    Twin, from Northampton, drowned in sea off Thailand hours after arriving.

  • Her heartbroken mother Fiona and boyfriend Kurtis pay emotional tribute.
  • Northamptonshire coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

    A 'gregarious' university student 'who lived her life with a smile' drowned after going for a swim alone off the coast of a Thai island hours into her dream holiday, a inquest heard today.

    Bryony Freestone, 19, was found washed up on a Koh Chang beach at 9am on August 14 while away in south-east Asia with friends.

    Staff from a nearby hotel desperately tried to revive her on the sand but the student, from Northampton, was later pronounced dead at hospital.

    Today an inquest at Northampton County Hall heard nobody saw the first year Exeter University geography student, who has a twin, Sophie, go in the sea.

    Her death came just 24 hours after a German tourist drowned in the waves off Koh Chang, Thailand's second largest island.

    Northamptonshire senior coroner Anne Pember recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

    She said: 'Bryony went out swimming on her own in Thailand and sadly drowned. Her death was accidental. The cause of death is given as asphyxiation by drowning.

    'A member staff at the KC Grande Hotel said that at around 9am on August 14 as he was working at the restaurant he was informed by another member of hotel staff that a person was lying on the beach.

    'He tried to wake her up without success. Her cheeks were blue so he performed resuscitation techniques. The deceased was taken to Ko Chang clinic and she was later confirmed deceased at the hospital.

    'Police interviewed people on the beach, but no-one saw her when she was in the water. They gave the cause of death as drowning.'

    Bryony's mother Fiona, who has another daughter - Bryony's twin sister Sophie - attended the hearing.

    The coroner read out a statement from Fiona.

    It said: 'Bryony was born on April 28, 1997, just a few moments before her twin sister with whom she was extremely close.

    'Together they would explore sailing, scooter riding, and they were glider pilots. Bryony achieved excellent GCSE and A level results and went on to study Geography.

    'She was gregarious with excellent social skills and had a good relationship with all ages.

    'She had been in a happy relationship for three years with her boyfriend, Kurtis.

    'She was someone who laughed all the time. She knew it was good for the soul and lived her life with a smile.

    'She saw the beauty with the world and wanted to explore it. We love her and will miss her very much.'

    Ms Pember then addressed the family and told them: 'Thank you for coming and I'm truly sorry for your death.'

    At the time, Sophie paid tribute to her sister on Facebook, writing: 'There's nothing I wouldn't do to have you back - my beautiful Bryony xxxx.

    'You were the most vibrant, passionate, happy person I have ever known, enthusiastic about absolutely everything. I will endeavour to live my life the best I can for her.'

  • Boyfriend Kurtis said: 'You were more than just my partner, you were my best friend and over our three years and three months we had together I've grown into a much better person, simply through knowing you.'

    Just a day before Bryony's death German tourist Christoph Ralf Sigloch, 55, drowned off the coast of the same island.

    He had gone out to sea to bring his sons back to shore amid strong waves.

    Ko Chang, also known as Elephant Island because of its elephant shaped headland, is Thailand's second largest island after Phuket. It is approximately 429 square kilometres in size.

    Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Source: Daily Mail

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