News State Western Australia News No inquest for Ningaloo snorkelling couple

No inquest for Ningaloo snorkelling couple

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There is no evidence to support suggestions a couple who died at Ningaloo Reef may have suffered deadly jellyfish stings, a coroner has ruled.

As a result, there will be no inquest into the death of the couple who died while snorkelling.

Canberra woman Kathreen Ricketson, 41, washed up at Elle’s Beach south of Coral Bay on May 15 as her two children, a 13-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy, looked on.

After the boy saw Ms Ricketson and partner Rob Shugg face down in the water, he raised the alarm.

Attempts to resuscitate her failed and Mr Shugg disappeared before he could be recovered, sparking a massive air, sea and land search.

The 48-year-old’s body washed up on the same beach nine days later.

The coroner’s registrar at Carnarvon Magistrates Court has since advised that a formal finding was handed down after an inquiry.

“The coroner has made findings that both deceased died by way of drowning,” the registrar wrote.

“The coroner determined that death occurred by way of accident.

“There is no evidence to confirm or deny the involvement of irukandji.”

Media reports speculated the deaths could have been linked to a spate of irukandji jellyfish stings in Ningaloo waters in April.

While some species of the jellyfish can be deadly, the victims’ lives in those cases were not threatened.

Ms Ricketson’s website said she and her partner were planning to write a book about their travels around the country.

On a blog, she described the trip to Ningaloo as a “dream come true”.

A trust fund was set up for her children, who are being cared for by relatives.