Man who died in Shropshire floods during Storm Babet is named at inquest opening
A man who died in floods during Storm Babet has been named at the opening of an inquest into his death.
Trevor David Furniss, aged 66, of Furnace Mill, near Kinlet, was a Sheffield-born company director who was seen to be in distress in the water at 10.30am on Friday, October 20.
Coroner’s officer Michael Caesar-Homden told the opening of the inquest on Tuesday that two members of the public called the emergency services after seeing Mr Furniss in the water.
Police, the fire service, search and rescue specialists and paramedics were all called to the scene and started a search.
Senior Shropshire Coroner John Ellery was told that the search lasted for 90 minutes before his body was found in Mad Brook, at Meaton Lane, in the Wyre Forest, and retrieved from the water. A paramedic confirmed that life was extinct at 12.41pm.
Mr Ellery, sitting at the Coroner's Court, at Shirehall, in Shrewsbury, was told that the police confirmed that the circumstances of the death were not suspicious. He was identified by his wife.
The inquest was formally opened and then adjourned to a full hearing on February 15, 2024.
Mr Furniss was one of seven people who died during Storm Babet but the full circumstances of how he came to be in the water weren't a part of this week's formal opening.
At the time a spokesperson for West Mercia Police said: "Officers from West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service quickly attended but sadly he was found deceased at around 12.35pm."
West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed it was called to the incident at 10.42am, and sent one ambulance, two paramedic officers, the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham to the scene.
A spokesman said: “When ambulance crews arrived on scene they quickly began working with fire and police colleagues to try and find the man, who was reported to have gone under the water by a member of the public.
“Following a thorough search and rescue operation, the man was rescued from the water. However, sadly it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
John Greaves, chair of Cleobury Mortimer Parish Council said: "We are in a rural community surrounded by small tributaries and with the level of rainfall that we have seen and sudden, sharp downpours, these idyllic looking brooks can turn into a danger quickly and a small stream can become an absolute death trap.
"It was a shock and very tragic news. We (the town council) all express our condolences to the family.
"It's a reminder that we all need to be very careful when walking out and about around the community."
Shropshire Council leader Lezley Picton said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of a man in south Shropshire today. My thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends.”
Philip Dunne MP for the Ludlow constituency commented on the tragedy, saying: "While not aware of the specific circumstances of this tragedy, I am deeply saddened to learn a local man has died in floodwaters at Cleobury Mortimer today.
"Unfortunately several communities in South Shropshire have been badly affected by Storm Babet, like many around the country.
"My condolences to his family and friends. My thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy and the wider flooding caused by the storm."
Seven people are known to have died during Storm Babet, including three in Scotland.