THE teacher of a Bexley teenager who collapsed on a desert trek has told of the devastating moment she realised no ambulance was coming for him as he lay dying.
Mirjana Scott was with Samuel Boon, 17, when the Business Academy Bexley student fell to the ground while tackling an incline at around 3.30pm on the second day of the expedition to Amizmiz in Morocco on July 17, 2012.
The A-level student soon became unresponsive on a day when temperatures hit 40C as Mrs Scott, fellow teacher Costa Dyer and trek leader Stephen Bates desperately tried to cool him down.
The group were allegedly assured by local guide Ibrahim Chejja a 4x4 ambulance was on its way and would be able to reach Samuel where he lay by a farm building down a narrow track some way from the main road.
But Mrs Scott told an inquest into Samuel’s death that after one ambulance drove past without stopping the group were shattered when they saw a minibus had been sent to rescue him more than an hour after he collapsed.
She said: “Costa was telling him ‘it’s alright’ but there was no response.
“Then we looked up and the feeling when this minibus pulled up and I said to Ibrahim ‘is that it?’ and he said ‘yes’ – that was just devastation.
“That is what they sent to help us and we were in the middle of nowhere.
“We all just looked at each other and I think our hearts just fell through the floor.
“We didn’t need a minibus – what the hell were we going to do with that?”
Mrs Scott said she was told by Mr Bates, leading the group on behalf of foreign expedition organiser World Challenge, to ring the company’s operations room via satellite phone but it wouldn’t work.
The then-BBA sixth-form tutor could barely feel a pulse as Samuel, his lips now blue, was loaded onto the minibus on a makeshift palate, the inquest heard.
During the journey Mrs Scott claimed she had to ring World Challenge ground agent Omar Ait Lmouden to make sure the driver was taking them to the nearest medical centre and not Marrakech.
When they arrived the building looked deserted but a doctor emerged from a nearby house. He tried to get an intravenous drip into Samuel and he was given oxygen but it was not enough to save him.
Mrs Scott said, not long after Samuel died, a translator told her she needed to go and see Mr Lmouden urgently.
She went to meet him in an alley nearby, only to allegedly find the guide had removed his World Challenge t-shirt and was wearing a different one.
She said: “He told me ‘you can’t say you had a guide because I could be held responsible and I could go to prison’.
“At that point I got quite angry and said ‘at the end of the day I am not going to lie’.
“I just thought you are not really bothered about what’s happened, you are bothered about saving your guys’ skins.”
The inquest at Bromley Civic Centre is listed until Friday but could finish on Monday.
- Bar The Beckenham to close its doors
- Cat lovers - help find these two a 'forever home'
- PICTURED: Superbike champ and singer, James Toseland, films video in Belvedere newsagents
- Pratts Bottom crash brings traffic to a halt on A21 Sevenoaks Road
- VIDEO: Free burrito giveaway in Bromley sparks giant queues