SAS hero's daughter killed by motorboat propellers while snorkelling outside of 'safe zone', inquest hears

Telegraph Reporters
An investigation found Madaline Cole - a newly qualified diving instructor - was snorkelling outside the safe area marked by buoys - SWNS +44 (0)1179066550

The daughter of an SAS hero was killed by a motorboat's propellers as she snorkelled in Malaysia, an inquest heard.

Madaline Cole, 25, suffered serious injuries to her legs and torso when she and a friend were struck by a boat as they swam in the South China Sea.

The boat's driver pulled her out of the water following the collision and took her to a local hospital ten minutes away, but no doctors were present when she arrived, a coroner was told.

Her friend, Australian national Simon Rogers, suffered minor injuries in the crash off Pulau Perhentian on May 27, 2013.

An investigation carried out in Malaysia found that Miss Cole, a newly qualified diving instructor known as "Maddy", had been snorkelling outside the safe area marked by buoys.

Police found Miss Cole, from Bodenham, Herefordshire, did not have a "safety sausage" - a floating piece of equipment to indicate that she was under the water.

Madaline Cole, in a picture posted on social media, died after the accident in May 2013 Credit: Facebook/SWNS

Coroner Mark Bricknell concluded at Herefordshire Coroner's Court on Wednesday that the death was an accident.

Kamsani Bin Hassan, the Malaysian police chief who conducted the investigation, also concluded that there was no criminal element.

Miss Cole's father Bob, 63, had served in the Royal Engineers and the SAS and saw action in the Gulf, the inquest heard.

Following the second Gulf War, he provided security and protection for companies sent out to rebuild Iraq.

When he flew out the day after the tragedy, he was told by Miss Cole's boyfriend Ross Makulec that a marker had been wrongly placed where officials placed the point of the collision.

Madaline Cole and her father Bob, a Gulf War veteran Credit: Facebook/SWNS

Mr Cole told the inquest: "We could see a marker which was clearly quite a way out from the buoy line.

"It's a third world country and they're not used to health and safety and their regard for human life is not what we're used to. Maddy wasn't the first person to be hit by a boat there.

"I watched that area for hours and noticed that boat drivers have a lot of bravado and like to skim along the beach close to the buoy line. There is no need for them to go up to the coast."

Miss Cole had arrived in Malaysia on April 4 and had been staying at Senja Bay Resort on Pulau Perhentian Besar.

Friends said she had just qualified as a professional diving instructor when she was killed.

Madaline Cole, from Herefordshire, arrived in Malaysia in April 2013 Credit: Facebook/SWNS

Posting on Facebook in February 2013, she wrote: "After the most stressful 3 days ever- FINALLY we are Open Water Scuba Instructors!!"

Speaking after the inquest, Miss Cole's mother Jill said she was disappointed at the conclusion.

She said: "I feel justice hasn't been done. Two other people have been killed in that bay in a similar way."

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