Tragedy as Sheffield student Josephine Docherty dies in 30m rock climbing accident
An inquest has heard how a 20-year-old woman from Sheffield died in a rock climbing accident in Devon after falling up to 30m and hitting two ledges last year.
On August 7, 2020, Josephine Docherty, of Fulwood, was leading a climb with her boyfriend and friends at Chudleigh Rocks, when tragedy struck.
It is believed that her safety equipment failed during the climb. A cam device used to secure climbers in the event of a fall became dislodged.
In an inquest held in Exeter on Tuesday, the coroner concluded that her death was accidental.
The inquest heard that Josephine suffered a traumatic brain injury in the fall and died four days later.
A police rock climbing instructor told the inquest that it appeared as though the cam device she was using while she was climbing was placed in poor rock or improperly positioned and dislodged off the rockface.
‘Truly horrendous incident’
She was not wearing a helmet at the time.
Her mother, Elizabeth Hughes-Docherty, said Josephine was kind and loving and inspired many with her positive attitude to life.
Josephine’s organs were donated to help others.
Tributes poured in for ‘much loved’ Josephine
Peace Funerals published an online donation page for St. Luke's Hospice in Josephine’s memory, where more than £1,400 was collected.
Tributes also poured in from Josephine’s loved ones on the donation page.
One tribute reads: “It was always a pleasure to see Josephine. We will never forget her sunny character and kind nature.”
Her friend said: “In memory of my dear friend, who I will miss greatly.”
Another added: “In memory of kind and beautiful Josephine.”
Another tribute reads: “So sorry to hear of your passing, Josephine, I have fond memories of your smile and laugh.”
Josephine was also described as ‘a beautiful young woman who will be greatly missed for a lifetime.’
It is understood that Josephine was a former King Edward VII School and before that was a pupil at Broomhill Infant School.
Her funeral service was held at Fulwood Old Chapel and she was laid to rest at Abbey Lane Cemetery on September 4 last year.
However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, only a small number of people attended the burial.