Friends pay tribute to tragic diver

FRIENDS of a highly experienced diver known for his meticulous approach to safety last night voiced their shock at learning he had died during a trip in the Lake District.

Laurence Cawley

FRIENDS of a highly experienced diver known for his meticulous approach to safety last night voiced their shock at learning he had died during a trip in the Lake District.

Married 39-year-old Stewart Wright, from Bury St Edmunds, was on an expedition in the Wasdale area of the Lake District when he got into serious difficulties.

Although exact details of what happened remain sketchy, it is understood he emerged from Wastwater, the country's deepest Lake which sits beneath England's highest mountain Scafell Pike, unconscious. He was given cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by both coastguard and mountain rescue officers until back-up arrived at the scene.


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A Royal Navy helicopter was drafted in to take Mr Wright, a qualified diving instructor, to a decompression facility but Mr Wright was declared dead before he could be taken away.

Investigations are currently underway in Cumbria to discover what might have gone wrong.

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The club said it could not comment on what might have happened in the moments leading up to his death until the inquest, opened and adjourned earlier this week in Cumbria by deputy coroner Simon Ward, has been held.

However, Mr Wright's friends and fellow divers at the Bury St Edmunds Sub Aqua Club have told how he was a highly experienced diver who was always paid meticulous attention to safety. He was a qualified dive leader, rebreather diver and an open water instructor.

A statement released by the club said: “Stewart was a long standing, active and very enthusiastic member of the diving club and was well liked and will be sadly missed by all members of the club.

“The police and the Coroners office are undertaking an investigation and so we are unable to comment further.

“All members of Bury St Edmunds Sub Aqua Club are shocked by this incident and their thoughts are with the family and friends of Stewart at this difficult time.”

In a tribute left to Mr Wright on the EADT's website, friend Sarah Vanriel, of Ipswich, said: “You were well loved by all your friends and family and I have fond memories of the times we all spent together as children. You will be sadly missed.”

It is understood Mr Watson, who designed the diving club's website, had undertaken a number of expeditions over the years, including one to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.

A full inquest into the 39-year-old's death will be held in Cumbria in due course. His funeral will be held next week.

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