Axmouth cliff path heart attack victim named

Renowned fossil expert and author Dr Colin Dawes, 67, collapsed and died during Undercliffs expedition

THE man who collapsed and died on the cliff path near Axmouth on Thursday has been named as well known Lyme Regis fossil hunter and author Dr Colin Dawes.

The 67-year-old palaeontologist apparently suffered a heart attack while metal detecting on a remote section of the undercliffs.

Devon Police, Beer Coastguards and paramedics were sent to recover his body from near Axe Cliff Golf Club.

Dr Dawes was well known for his fossil walks but he was also a naturalist, author, artist and wildlife enthusiast.

He took up metal detecting three years ago when he joined the East Devon Metal Detecting Club and was on one of his regular expeditions along the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliff when he died.

Tom Sunderland, senior reserve manager for the Undercliff, said: “He was an Undercliff enthusiast and he was in the process of carrying out a long term metal detecting project, which obviously was going to be extremely useful.

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“He was very well liked by all of the volunteers and he will be greatly missed.”

Dr Dawes wrote and illustrated three books, the first, about fossil hunting, was published in 2003 and became a local bestseller. It was followed by editions on bird watching and rockpooling.

He also made a DVD, called Fossil Hunting Along the Jurassic Coast.

A service of thanksgiving for Dr Dawes will be held at the Royal Lion Hotel in Lyme Regis on Wednesday, September 28 at 2pm.