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Architect died after heart attack in Hampstead Heath bathing pond, inquest hears

Christopher Slamon's body was found by police divers on June 3

31 October, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Flowers and tributes at the Highgate Men’s Bathing Ponds in June


A CORONER today (Thursday) heard how father-of-two had drowned in a Hampstead Heath pond following a heart attack.

Architect Christopher Slamon, 54, had been at the Men’s Bathing Pond in June with two friends but the swim had put “significant strain on his heart”, St Pancras Coroner’s Court was told.

Pathologist Liina Palm told the inquest found that Mr Slamon had advanced coronary heart disease.

Coroner Jonathan Stevens said in a summary: “Whilst swimming Chris suffered an acute heart attack resulting in him not being able to swim and drowning in the pond.Dr Palm said if CPR had been offered immediately he might have survived. It is sad that the latter condition was not known.”

The court heard from Mr Slamon’s life long friend James Dawson, who had gone swimming that day with him and another friend. It was a regular routine the friends did together on weekends.

Mr  Stevens said:  “Chris would do a circuit once or twice in a morning and that would take 10 or 20 minutes, concluding his swim at 8:30am latest. Chris would usually swim one or two laps, we heard from James. That is about 340m from the lifeguards and 13 laps of a 20m pool. It would normally take 10 or 20 minutes.”

He added:  “James needed to go and collect his son. He glanced around and couldn’t see Chris. This was nothing unusual. He left. Later that morning James was trying to contact Chris to see if he wanted to watch the FA Cup Final. James contacted his wife. Chris hadn’t returned home and alarms were raised.

“It wasn’t until Monday 3 June when police were called to sonar check for Chris’ body when the body located and recovered from the bottom of the pond.”

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