Fisherman died in Coven canal fall after vertigo attack

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A fisherman who died after plunging into a canal had a vertigo attack moments before falling in, an inquest heard.

David Kidd suffered a cardiac arrest and died when he fell into the cold water off Shaw Lane in Coven Heath.

At an inquest, a coroner was told the 64-year-old had a vertigo attack, causing him to fall into the water, on September 27.

His wife, Linda, jumped into the water in a desperate attempt to save him but was unable to get him out of the canal.

Cannock Coroners Court was told Mr Kidd, of Parry Road, had recently started suffering from vertigo and had already suffered several falls.

He also had problems with back pain and was taking medication for it.

Detective Sergeant Kiley Round, one of the investigating officers, said: "Because he had not been well, Mrs Kidd did not want to do this (fishing).

"She eventually relented on the proviso he did not go near the water. They arrived at the canal and it took around 30 minutes to set up.

"Mrs Kidd left her husband to return to the car and fetch cigarettes. When she returned her husband was in the water and shouting for help."


Ds Round said Mrs Kidd had gone into the water to try and help her husband but had been unable to get him out.

"It took four police officers and ambulance staff to lift him out of the canal," he said.

DS Round said there was no evidence of third party involvement.

Mr Kidd was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.


The court was told a post mortem revealed Mr Kidd had died from a reflex cardiac arrest caused by the immersion in cold water.

It found no signs of drowning and no injuries which contributed to his death.

Mrs Kidd told the court she had been married to her husband for 13 years and when she first met him he was being treated for bowel cancer.

This had been successful. Earlier in his life he had also suffered a fall which had stopped him working.

Miss Louise McCabe, assistant coroner for South Staffordshire, gave a conclusion of accidental death at the end of the hearing.

"This is a very sad case of an accident," she said.

"Mr Kidd suffered from vertigo and was unsteady on his feet. The shock of entering the cold water caused a cardiac arrest, what is called an immersion death.

"He suffered an attack of vertigo which caused him to stumble into the water. That is the most probable explanation.

"I conclude Mr Kidd died as the result of an accident."

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