Inquest hears British auctioneer drowned during Caribbean trip

Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla.

A retired auctioneer tragically drowned while swimming in the Caribbean during a holiday with his wife.

John Twentyman, 74, was declared dead at the popular Rendezvous Bay on the British overseas territory of Anguilla after being found at about 4.35pm on 24 February.

Police were called to the beach after reports of a drowning and paramedics battled to save his life.

Twentyman, a former senior partner at a renowned property auction firm in the UK, was on holiday with his wife Jane, 67, at the time.

The pair, from Lymington in Hampshire, regularly visited Anguilla, which is made up of a main island and a number of smaller offshore islets.

Situated next to the British Virgin Islands, it attracts tourists from around the world for its long sandy beaches.

Following an inquest, a coroner in Anguilla found that Twentyman had drowned.

In 2006, Twentyman retired from Woolley and Wallis as a senior partner, having been with the property auctioneers for around 40 years.

John Twentyman.

He was a chartered surveyor and auctioneer who the firm described as a “great mentor”.

Andrew Donald, a partner at the firm who worked with him, said: “He was a lovely bloke. He was very well respected across a wide area. He was well loved.”

A spokesman from the auctioneers, which is based around Hampshire and Wiltshire, said Twentyman had a “sharp and cutting wit” and was a keen cricketer.

He said: “It was with great sadness that the partners and staff recently heard the news John Twentyman very sadly died in a tragic swimming accident in the Caribbean.

“John played a significant role as a partner of Woolley and Wallis for over 35 years and, as senior partner, for more than 10 years from the mid 1990s.

“He retired from the partnership in 2006 but continued to be an active supporter of the firm helping partners and staff in advising clients wherever he could.”


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