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Trip of a lifetime ends in tragedy after South African boating accident
11:00am Tuesday 16th October 2012 in News
A Bournemouth mum’s holiday ended in tragedy when her stepfather died in shark-infested waters after a tourist boat capsized off South Africa.
NHS worker Helen Hyett, 37, and her mum Suzanne, 63, survived the horrific accident which killed two people during a seal-spotting trip.
But Peter Hyett, a former Bournemouth newsagent who now lives in Barry, South Wales, with Suzanne, his second wife, died at the scene.
Helen, who lives in Collingbourne Avenue, Iford, with her son Sam, 16, and 18-year-old niece, Leoni, is now being helped by British consular authorities to arrange for Mr Hyett’s body to be flown home.
Leoni confirmed she is in regular contact with her aunt and revealed the two-week trip was planned as a last holiday for the trio.
“This was supposed to be their last holiday together. They had been away for two weeks but were due to come back on Sunday,” said Leoni.
Helen works at the Southbourne Surgery in Beaufort Road as an administrator.
Staff there said they were unable to comment on the accident.
It is not yet known why the charter boat, which was carrying 40 people, capsized just after 2pm on Saturday.
Both Helen and Suzanne were treated in hospital and City of Cape Town emergency services spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they are “totally devastated”.
Hotel worker Renette Henrico told how the family had been happy in the days before the tragedy and added: “They were really relaxed, in the holiday vibe.”
A family friend said: “This is such a shock, they were so happy and enjoying life together.
“Sue had beaten breast cancer just a few years ago and they were making the most of his retirement and the time they had together.”
The couple retired to Barry, where Mrs Hyett had grown up, after living in the Bournemouth area. Mr Hyett is believed to have been an RAF veteran.
Two other British women survived after being trapped in an air pocket underneath the catamaran for nearly four hours before they were rescued.