herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

My horror as I saw husband die on honeymoon

A pregnant Dublin widow whose husband tragically died on holiday eight weeks ago still does not know what happened.

Sinead Hingston who was enjoying a second honeymoon with her husband Geoff in the Algarve is pleading with Portuguese authorities for answers.

The young mum-to-be watched helplessly as her husband collapsed and died while swimming off a pleasure boat.

A post mortem could find no conclusive cause of death and Sinead (30) has revealed that the lack of knowledge is an endless torment.



SWOLLEN

The Montessori teacher has requested the results of the autopsy tests but said she faced a "brick wall" from Portuguese officials who have told her that the process could take "upwards of a year".

"Not knowing exactly what happened to Geoff that day is tearing me to shreds," the grieving young woman said.

"He may have died from a heart attack, or it could have been from a jellyfish sting, or it could have been Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

"I just can't accept that I'm getting no answers. He was healthy fit 37-year-old with no underlying heart problem.

"I just find it all very strange and I want to know what happened. Why was his ear swollen? Does that happen when you have a heart attack?

"Or if it was a jellyfish sting then why weren't we warned about the threat of jellyfish before Geoff got into the water?"

Sinead and Geoff were married in December 2010, but their celebrations were sadly interrupted when Geoff's mum passed away while they were on honeymoon.

The couple's trip to the Algarve was meant to be a second honeymoon as they prepared for the birth of their first child.

"Geoff was swimming back and forth talking to me and mum the whole time, and Ken, his father, who was also watching him," Sinead recalled on Joe Duffy's Liveline yesterday.

"And I was taking some more photos and it was when I was staring through the camera that I realised he was struggling, that there was something not right about him.

"He was on his back at the time and his eyes were quite wide and he looked like he was struggling to catch a breath.

"And his left hand was flicking in the water -- almost like a fish out of water. I started calling him -- he wasn't that far away from us. He didn't answer me.

"And I just started shouting his name and getting more and more hysterical by the lack of response from him.

"It was then that his eyes closed and his body relaxed and I started screaming hysterically then at the people in the water with him.

"His body just went limp and his feet went straight down into the water."



MARINA

Sinead explained how a dinghy picked up Geoff but would not take her on board and take her to the marina. She had to wait an hour and a half before she was eventually reunited with her husband.

"I kept shouting at him to bring me to the marina," she said. "All he had to do was turn around and bring us back but he kept telling me that he had to think of the other people that had paid for this trip."

When Sinead got to the marina, a doctor met her with the terrible news.

"He just said, 'We did everything we could.' I said, 'I don't know what you mean', and he said, 'We worked on him for a long time but I'm sorry he's gone', and then I collapsed."

The couple's baby is due on Christmas Eve, days before their wedding anniversary.

hnews@herald.ie

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