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Death of RSPCA officer in Cornwall remains a mystery

Death of RSPCA officer in Cornwall remains a mystery

Published by Emma Carton at 6:36am 4th July 2018. (Updated at 12:42pm 4th July 2018)

It is believed an RSPCA officer who disappeared at the height of winter storms in Cornwall was swept out to sea.

That is what an inquest has heard, two years after Mike Reid vanished near Porthcurno during Storm Imogen.

The 54-year-old from Redruth was believed to have been helping injured seabirds but his body was never found.

Mike Reid memorial

An inquest heard the RSPCA was not aware Mike had not returned from the evening call-out, until his wife raised the alarm the next morning.

The charity told a hearing in Truro it has since improved staff safety procedures and the coroner recorded an open verdict.

The BBC reports that Dr Emma Carlyon said there was "little evidence as to when, where of if he entered the water", but said that was "possible".

You can read more, including the evidence given by the Health and Safety Executive and RSPCA, here.

Mike Reid memorial

In February 2017, one year after Mike disappeared, hiss family joined colleagues at a special memorial service.

They took part in a poignant walk along the coastline from the Minack Theatre to his memorial stone, placed beside the coastal path

At the time, RSPCA Inspector Richard Abbott paid an emotional tribute to a "valued colleague and friend".

"A year has passed since I lost a valued colleague and friend, Mike has been deeply missed by my team and I.

"We miss his laugh, we miss his dedication towards animal welfare and we are not the same without him.

"Our deepest sympathies go toward his family, who will be once again reliving this tragic event.

"We miss you Mike and we will always remember you".


Mike Reid memorial


In April 2016, Mike was given a posthumous honour at Pirate FM's Local Heroes Award.

The 54-year-old was named Animal Welfare Champion after a string of nominations.

Collecting the award, Mike's widow Tracy told Pirate FM he would be "amazed".

"As a family we are very, very proud of him. You couldn't have asked for a better husband, for a better animal lover.

"You know he's touched a lot of people because I've had messages from a lot of people saying he has been to offer help or advice.

"It's amazing, absolutely amazing that he is thought so highly of really".

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