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Two experienced climbers fall to death

Posted in: Wrongful & Accidental Death 

48-year-old Vaughan Holme and student Jack Hutton-Potts (23) had been climbing the Gauntlet at Gogarth cliffs this summer when they fell over 300ft to their deaths. Mr Holme, from Horsham in West Sussex, was a very experienced climber and was attached to his companion with a rope when he fell, bringing Mr Hutton-Potts down with him.  Their deaths have been recorded as accidental.

When Mr Holme made an unknown error while climbing the Gogarth cliffs near Holyhead in Anglesey, Jack Hutton-Potts (from Petersfield in Hampshire) was pulled down the 300ft sea cliff with him, where they both died instantly.  Mr Holme was uncovered with major injuries, as the impact of the water would have been enough to kill him immediately, while Mr Hutton-Potts appeared to have drowned.

“Unfortunately landed in the water”

Pathologist Dr Mark Lord told the inquest in Llangefni that Mr Holme’s death was “instantaneous”. He also spoke of Mr Hutton-Potts death, saying: “He’s fallen, become unconscious and unfortunately landed in the water and drowned.

It is still uncertain why Mr Holme fell from the cliff, with Coroner Nicola Jones saying that the climb was perfectly within their capabilities.  Despite confusion as to why Jack was not hooked onto the cliff, Mrs Jones still believes that the fall was completely accidental.

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