Probe initiated after Poole diver's death in Vietnam

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An investigation has been launched after a respected deep sea diver was killed in an accident while working off the coast of Vietnam.

Robin Holbrook, from Poole, was described as a larger-than-life character who travelled the world twice over.

His funeral was held at the town’s crematorium on Friday, September 4.

It is still unclear exactly what led up to his death, which occurred 60 miles off the Vietnamese coast last month.

Close friend and professional diver Adam Ridges, one of many mourners at his funeral, said: “We were all absolutely stunned because, aged 57, he was just about finishing up his career. He’d done it all.” Tragically, Robin died just 10 days after attending his older brother’s funeral – Isle of Wight businessman Pete Holbrook, 72, who died of a brain tumour.

Robin was working for a Middle East-based dive company, which specialises in oilfield diving when tragedy struck around August 12/13.

Mr Ridges said, “Rob had flown out to Hong Kong, then Vietnam, and from what we know, he was in the water diving on mixed gas to about 57 metres, which is quite deep.

“He was working from a diving bell, laying pipeline for oil and gas, when his umbilical got fouled on the seabed.”

After getting into difficulties he made it back to his diving bell, but after a rescue attempt was later pronounced dead.

A post-mortem was carried out on the former Royal Navy diver before his body was flown back to Dorset, where an inquest was opened and adjourned at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court.

Mr Holbrook, who lived in Poole with partner Debbie, had two children, Pearl and Lewis, both in their twenties, from a previous marriage.

After eight years, 1976-1984, as an elite bomb clearance diver with the Royal Navy, he worked extensively as an oilfield diver around the world.


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