A grieving widow has told of the horrible moment she discovered her husband's body in their hotel room after he died from sea urchin stings on their island holiday.

The wife of British father Chris Wilson, 54, said her sick husband turned down seeing a doctor before his death on the idyllic island destination of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania.

A coroner in Kent in the UK has found Mr Wilson's accidental death was caused by being stung by sea urchins, reports News.com.au.

The Dover man's wife told the coroner's court the couple had been out on the water in a double kayak on June 23 when they capsized in shallow water.


"The water wasn't rough at all, it was almost like a lagoon," she said in a written statement.

"When we righted ourselves and I climbed back in, Chris couldn't get back into the kayak without turning the whole thing over again.

"Because the water was still quite shallow, and we couldn't even stand up in places, he said he'd paddle back next to me.

A coroner has found British father Chris Wilson died from sea urchin stings. Photo / Getty Images
A coroner has found British father Chris Wilson died from sea urchin stings. Photo / Getty Images

"A little way back, he started looking very unwell and said he was feeling really sick.

"I asked him if he had swallowed any seawater, because I know doing that can make you sick, but he said he hadn't."

The Wilsons returned to shore and rested on a sun lounger before heading back to their hotel room.

Mr Wilson's wife said he continued to feel unwell.

"He had a shower and lay on the bed next to the aircon because he was feeling really hot," she said.


"He said he wanted a rest, and kept complaining that his arms hurt. I noticed that he had several sea urchin stings in his feet.

"I asked him if his chest felt all right and if he wanted me to get a doctor. He said no, and I gave him some paracetamol and ibuprofen and went outside to read a book."

But when she returned to the hotel room, she made a terrible discovery.

"When I came back in, it was immediately obvious that he had died," she said.

"He was completely unresponsive, and his skin had this waxy complexion to it.

"I called for help, but it took 40 minutes for the doctors to arrive. In that time I think a staff member and another guest had been trying to do CPR, but I was in the bathroom.

"When the doctors got to us, there was nothing more they could do."

Assistant coroner Joanne Andrews gave Mr Wilson's death as "sea urchin envenomation" and "fatty infiltration of the myocardium", which is a layer of heart muscle.

"I would like to put on record my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Wilson, particularly his wife and daughters," she said.