Sunday, 3 Jul 2022

Man, 22, dead at summer solstice celebration despite desperate efforts of medics

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The incident happened at 10pm as crowds gathered at Dartmoor in Devon to watch the sunset on the longest day of the year.

It was reported that Devon Air Ambulance landed after receiving word that the man, understood to be aged 22, had suffered a medical episode. Police and land ambulance crews also attended, however the man was declared dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.

The incident happened on Tuesday, June 21, Devon Live reports.

Witnesses said the young man had been watching the sunset at Haytor. Traditionally crowds gather at dawn and sunset on the longest day of the year at the Dartmoor beauty spot. It also traditionally marks the start of Summer, and the end of Spring, with the warmest months of the year now approaching. 

The summer solstice in the UK also normally has a spiritual element for many people, with druids often meeting at Stonehenge or Glastonbury Tor to see in the summer. Celebrations have reportedly been taking place for the solstice on Dartmoor for 4000 years. 

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “Police were contacted by the Ambulance Service just before 10pm on Tuesday 21 June with reports of a man in his 20s in cardiac arrest following a medical episode at Haytor.

“Police along with air and land ambulance all attended but the man was declared deceased at the scene. His next of kin are aware and this death is not being treated as suspicious. A file is to be prepared for the coroner.”

A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said: “We were called at 21.43hrs to an incident on Haytor. Resources we sent included two double-crewed land ambulances, a doctor, an operations officer and an air ambulance”.

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