Family's mission 10 years after losing much-loved dad in holiday tragedy

THE family of a man who tragically died in an accident while on holiday 10 years ago is on a mission to raise funds for a charity which provides vital help for British nationals in crisis overseas.  Paul Doherty, 45, from Odsal, was holidaying in San Antonio Bay, Ibiza, with his wife Amanda and daughters Lauren and Megan, in August 2010 when devastation hit. Mr Doherty, who worked as a motorway maintenance engineer, decided to go for a swim and an inquest later heard his wife watched him "belly-flop" as he dived into the pool. 

Other guests began to show concern and some went in and tried to pull him out and while attempts were made to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.  The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death and said the belly-flop into the pool caused trauma to his chest, which caused his heart to stop. One decade on, Mr Doherty's son, Nick, 31, has spoken of the difficulties his family faced following his dad's death - and how they want to get the word out there that help is available, particularly through the Lucie Blackman Trust. 

Paul and Amanda  "Back then, we could not find any help, we didn't know where to go for some support at looking at flights and next steps," said Nick.

"We didn't know what to do. Then it was a long process of trying to get my dad's body back home." They then faced another difficulty when Mr Doherty's autopsy came back and it was in Spanish, leaving his family in the difficult position of having to try and translate it. 

"It was not a good experience," he said.  In the years that passed, he eventually learnt of the charity and the work it does to help those in need.  Now, he and his family are to embark on a fundraising challenge to help and have set up a JustGiving page.

They have already smashed the GBP1,000 target.  Nick and his sisters Lauren and Megan Family's mission 10 years after losing much-loved dad in holiday tragedy

Sharing their experience, Nick said: "Looking back we had little knowledge of what support was out there other than from family and friends.  "In the years that have passed, I have often wondered what help would have been available and what support we could have accessed. This has led me to find The Lucie Blackman Trust. 

"The Lucie Blackman Trust has assisted thousands of families facing the most disastrous situations overseas, and provides unique expertise, practical help, advice and support.
"In order to raise money for this charity, myself and a group of family and friends will each complete at least 100km running, walking or cycling in 28 days." The challenge will begin on July 12 and end on August 9 - 10 years to the day of Mr Doherty's death.  Speaking about his dad, Nick said: "He was a family man, everything he did, he did for my mum and four kids - he did everything for us.

"He would go without so we had something. He would work six-seven days a week, just so we could have a holiday. "Everyone loved him - even now, so many people talk about him." Nick, his two sisters and brother Anthony will all take part in the challenge, which they hope will help to raise awareness, so people know where to go if they are ever in the same situation. 

"I do believe it would help massively," said Nick. "They've helped some high-profile cases recently." The charity offers assistance in a number of areas, including deaths and serious crime abroad, plus people who go missing overseas. 

It was set up in the name of Lucie Blackman, who went to Japan after working as an air hostess for British Airways. But her family's life was turned upside down when she went missing, prompting several traumatic months of searching and trying to keep her story alive in Japan. They were faced with red tape, culture differences, massive financial costs and language barriers. 

Tragically, their search finally ended with the discovery of Lucie's dismembered body, in a seaside cave.

"We believe that no family should go through the same experience they had to, and this Trust in Lucie's name and memory is that vow realised," says the charity. 

To donate to the Doherty family's fundraiser, visit the Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-paul-doherty.

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