Boy died in fall from White Cliffs of Dover on 12th birthday, inquest told

Mati Urb and his family were on the first day of their holiday when the accident happened.

17 August 2022

A boy who fell to his death from the White Cliffs of Dover had been celebrating his 12th birthday on the first day of a family holiday, an inquest has heard.

Mati Urb was visiting Kent with his parents and two siblings during the Easter school holidays, and their first day coincided with his birthday on April 4 2022.

The Estonian nationals moved to London in 2021 and had hired a campervan to take a trip around the south coast of England.

However, during a clifftop walk along the East Langdon cliffs in Dover, Mati’s parents lost sight of him and started to look for him.

A passer-by called the Coastguard at around 6.15pm and, in addition, a lifeboat and Kent Police were called to the cliffs to search for Mati.

At around 7.15pm the Coastguard helicopter saw his body at the base of the cliffs, in an area described as inaccessible on foot.

Paramedics provided medical treatment but Mati was declared dead at the scene just after 8pm.

A post-mortem examination concluded Mati died of head injuries, and a police report said there had been no third party involvement.

At an inquest in Maidstone, coroner Katrina Hepburn ruled the youngster’s death was an accident.

Ms Hepburn concluded: “Mati had been visiting Kent, specifically the Dover region and the cliffs with his mum, dad, brother and sister.

“It was at a location close to the lighthouse at St Margaret’s, on top of the cliffs at Langdon, when the family became separated and ultimately came to a point where Mati could not be found.

“A call was made to the Coastguard and then the Coastguard contacted the police. A search was initiated incorporating the Coastguard helicopter and paramedics.

“Sadly Mati was located at the base of the cliffs and, despite initial attempts at resuscitation, it was confirmed he was sadly deceased.

“I conclude that Mati succumbed to head injuries as a result of falling from the cliff.

“I don’t know how Mati came to fall from the cliff – it was unwitnessed. Whether he tripped and fell, whether it was the wind, or whether he was looking too far over the edge, I simply don’t know.

“I know that’s of no comfort to the family to have this unexplained as to how Mati came to fall.

“These were tragic circumstances and the conclusion that I return is one of accident. I can see no evidence that he intended to go over the cliff.

“I want to offer my most sincere condolences for the tragic loss of Mati in these circumstances.”

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