Death of tourist at Kuredhoo Island Resort last year was accidental, finds UK inquest

An Oxfordshire inquest into the death of 42 year-old UK national Sharon Duval, who died while honeymooning with her husband Nick Duval at Kuredhoo Island Resort, has concluded that her death was accidental.

Sharon Duval and her husband, who together ran the Highwayman pub in Kidlington, visited the resort in early October last year. Her body was found on the seashore.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News at the time that Duval had been observed drinking at the resort’s bar until late in the evening prior to her death.

The inquest heard that on the night of her death the Duvals had been socialising with another couple, however when the group finished drinking Sharon Duval decided to walk back to her room in a different direction to the others.

“Sharon had her own mind and she would do things her own way, so we left in two different directions,” her husband told the court.

Nick Duval dozed off while waiting for Sharon’s return, but at 4:00am reported her missing and began a concerted search of the island.

“I looked everywhere, I walked up and down that island, checked every sun lounger I could find, looked under the hedges and the bushes, went to the ladies’ toilet, walked into the gents’ toilet. I walked all around, just kept looking and looking – I never expected she would be in the sea,” the Oxford Mail reported Duval as saying.

While he was searching, Sharon Duval’s body was found by another tourist, Nigel Bower, who told the court he was walking along the beach with his family looking for crabs by torchlight.

Kuredhoo staff informed Duval of his wife’s death and her body was returned to the UK for a postmortem, which revealed that her blood alcohol concentration was three and a half times the legal UK driving limit.

According to the Oxford Mail, Nick Duval had admitted to the court that he had once been arrested after an argument between the couple ended violently.

The court also heard that the deceased had been taking medication for depression since 2004, and in 2009 had overdosed on Paracentemol and Ibuprofen due to work-related stress “and her volatile relationship with her partner”.

However the postmortem ruled out “any third party involvement” and gave the cause of death as accidental drowning with a contribution of alcohol intoxication.


Celebrity couple Katy Perry and Russell Brand honeymooning in the Maldives

British comedian Russell Brand and pop star wife Katy Perry were last night rumoured to be hopping around resorts in the Maldives trying to evade paparazzi disguised as hotel guests.

The celebrity couple arrived at Male’ International Airport late Monday night on a private jet, according to Minivan News sources. Senior Airport staff are reported to have met the couple on their arrival.

Minivan News understands the couple first transferred to Four Seasons Kuda Hura in North Male’ Atoll, before surreptitiously transferring to Four Seasons Landagiraavaru after supposed media intrusion. The couple have now reportedly departed for yet another resort.

An Indian entertainment website meanwhile reported today that the Brands’ honeymoon might soon be over as the prospect of a major lawsuit arising from their wedding looms on the horizon.

An Indian activist, Akhshay Sharma, according to OneIndia, has filed a criminal complaint against the couple and two others for allegedly violating the green laws during their Hindu wedding ceremony on October 23 in India’s Ranthambore National Park, which involved a man-eating tiger.


Second honeymooning tourist dies while snorkelling

A Chinese tourist died yesterday while snorkeling at Chaaya Lagoon Hakurahura Island Resort, less than a day after a German man also died in a snorkelling accident at Embudu Village Island Resort.

Police confirmed the 30 year old was visiting the Maldives from China on his honeymoon.

A senior staff member at the resort told Minivan News that the man died while snorkelling off a boat with his wife near the edge of the reef with a group of tourists, less than a kilometre from the resort’s jetty.

”After they finished snorkelling and everyone came aboard the boat, the boat crew noticed one man was missing,” the staff member said. “The crew immediately started searching for him and informed the hotel management and diving school.”

He said the man was eventually discovered by a team of three resort divers who had been sent out to search for him.

One of the divers told Minivan News that the man appeared to be dead when he was recovered from water.

”When we brought him up there was blood coming from his mouth,” the diver said.

He noted that when the diving team discovered the man he was holding his snorkel tube in his hand “but the mask was missing.”

The team pulled the man aboard the dive boat and attempted to resuscitate him, but he was not breathing.

The man was taken to Meemu Atoll Mulee Regional Hospital and doctors confirmed that he was dead when arrived.

Police sergeant Abdul Muhsin said the man was brought to Male’ today morning and placed in the mortuary. He said a team of police forensics specialists were now investigating the case.

The case is the second snorkelling fatality in as many days. The day prior, a 69 year old German man died while snorkelling at the Embudu Village Island Resort.

Permanent secretary for the Tourism Ministry Ahmed Solih said he would not comment on the cases but noted that the ministry was verifying that safety regulations were being followed by the resorts.

Sim Ibrahim Mohamed from the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) said the resorts needed to be more careful guiding snorkellers, particularly older divers.

The Maldivian resorts’ procedures for guiding and instructing snorkellers were very good, he explained.

”All the resorts have said they inform tourists about the nearby water conditions and tides, and they also tell them the do’s and dont’s.’ But they need to be more careful with old aged people,” Sim said.