British student died after accidentally hitting his head when he fell into hotel pool on holiday, study finds

A BRIT student died during his holiday when he fell headfirst into a hotel swimming pool, a judicial investigation has shown.

Student Charlie Hopkins, 23, from Buckley, North Walesdied tragically while visiting a friend in Tulum, Mexico on April 8, 2021.

History student Charlie Hopkins, 23, suffered a skull fracture when he fell into the pool


History student Charlie Hopkins, 23, suffered a skull fracture when he fell into the poolCredit: WNS

The inquest heard it was a mystery how he fell into the water, as no one else was in the pool when the tragedy happened at 1 a.m.

CCTV footage showed Charlie walking on a balcony through the hotel reception in his underpants on April 9, 2021.

It was told at the hearing that no one else was in the pool in Tulum, Mexico, but “very soon after” a camera captured the water in the pool being disturbed.

Another guest discovered his body at the bottom of the pool about five hours later.

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Charlie, from Buckley, North Walesstudied history at University College, London.

In a statement read during the inquest, his father Mark described him as “effervescent” and “the light and soul of every room he was in”.

He was an avid musician and a strong campaigner for LGBT rights.

He said Charlie had good friends in London, where he lived, but was happy to go on holiday as lockdown restrictions eased during the Covid pandemic.

He checked into the two-story Hotel Turquoise Petit in Tulum on April 8, 2021.

He was invited there by his friend Alex who lived in Mexico.

The Ruthin Inquiry learned that he had a video call with his parents almost every day while he was there.

“We were concerned when we didn’t hear from him for 24 hours,” Mr Hopkins said.

On April 9, they received the “devastating” phone call that he had been found dead.

His father said: “He was a lively, loving, trusting young man. He only saw the good in everyone.

“Charlie always stopped talking to someone and said, ‘I love that person’ — that’s just the kind of person he was.”

Mr Hopkins’ family said his death has left them “broken” and their lives “turned upside down”.

A post-mortem examination was conducted in Mexico. His body was later repatriated.

Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers confirmed the cause of death as “a blunt force head injury and drowning consistent with a fall from height”.

John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales East and Central, said there were initially some concerns that he had been attacked.

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But the coroner said he probably hit his head in some way when entering the pool, adding: “There is absolutely no reason to consider it an intentional act.”

He registered a conclusion of accidental death.