A DREAM sailing holiday in the Seychelles ended in tragedy when an Oxfordshire man drowned as he snorkelled in the clear blue waters, an inquest heard.

Mark Thomson-Tur, from Benson, was a confident swimmer but got into difficulties when his new mask sprang a leak and filled with water.

He and wife Fiona has just embarked on a week-long sailing adventure aboard the Seabird and were enjoying a morning swim in the shimmering calm water when he initially noticed the leak.

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His wife swam over to him to make sure he was okay and he joked that the snorkel mask was leaking, a similar problem he had encountered on a previous holiday.

"At least it's better than Costa Rica," he said in jest.

Soon after, Mrs Thomson-Tur noticed he was thrashing about and realised he was in serious trouble, the coroner in Oxford was told.

The 60-year-old, a leading metals expert ,was then found unconscious and floating face-up in the water by a deckhand from the sailing ship, on which the couple had just begun a week's holiday.

Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham heard on Tuesday that Mr Thomson-Tur was enjoying a morning swim with his wife in the crystal clear waters of Round Island, Praslin, Seychelles before tragedy struck.

In a chilling witness statement, Mrs Thomson-Tur said she became aware of someone shouting for help, and realised something was terribly wrong.

"I did not wish to watch this and I arrived on the Seabird," she said in her statement to the inquest.

Mr Thomson-Tur was unconscious and was taken back to the jetty where deckhands, who were trained in first-aid, frantically performed CPR. An ambulance arrived 15 minutes later.

The captain told his wife that Mr Thomson-Tur had been taken to hospital.

The coroner told the inquest: "Mark Antony Thomson-Tur died on 1 April 2018. Attempts were made to resuscitate him, but he died at the scene."

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Mr Thomson-Tur was an engineer who was highly-regarded in his field and worked as a technical consultant for the Copper Development Association.

Mrs Thomson-Tur, a teacher, lived with her husband at Crown Lane, Benson near Wallingford. She described her husband as a confident swimmer and said he liked nothing better than the rough sea.

"He was calm, sensible and logical. There was no reason for him to drown," she said.

Mr Graham recorded a conclusion of accidental death by drowning.