An ANDOVER father died after struggling to breath in a faulty snorkelling mask, an inquest heard.

A Hampshire coroner has now issued a warning on the dangers of oxygen deprivation in full-face snorkelling masks.

John Bazzoni, 56, was visiting his eldest daughter in Australia when he passed away on New Year’s Eve in 2017.

At an inquest into his death today (Thursday, February 18), Winchester Coroner's Court heard how he died from misadventure after a snorkelling trip went wrong.

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‘Curious adventurer’ John Bazzoni had travelled to Australia to visit his eldest daughter Nicola over the Christmas period in 2017.

Nicola described her father as and ‘adventurer’ who enjoyed traveling and loved his three daughters without a doubt.

The court heard that despite being a weak swimmer and often using a pool noodle, that John enjoyed snorkelling during his visits.

On previous trips he had panicked whilst snorkelling after water would get into his mask because his moustache, this prompted him to buy a Go Fun 180-degree full-face mask on Amazon, as he believed this would prevent water getting in.

Mrs Roman told the hearing she had warned her father about the dangers of the ocean and he had replied that “he couldn’t think of a better way to die than snorkelling over coral in paradise”.

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The day before his death, John and his son in law Sean had gone snorkeling at Lady Nora Island, but John only wore the mask for around five minutes.

On the morning of December 31, John and Sean and two friends headed out to Lady Nora Island to snorkel where the ocean was ‘choppy and unpleasant on a boat but not dangerous’.

John entered the water first, and within a short space of time stopped snorkeling and began to panic.

In a statement, Mr Roman said he had jumped into the water to help Mr Bazzoni, after he began to wave for help while 20m from the boat and drifting further away.

Simon Harrision, a friend of Sean’s who was on the boat recalled seeing John ‘thrashing’ in water.

At first he thought John had seen a reef shark and was panicking, he heard a scream of ‘help, help me’ and said you could hear ‘terror in his voice’.

Simmon swam over and began to tow John back towards the boat, his mask was kept on but it began fogging up.

When they eventually managed to get back to the boat, Johns mask was taken off and ‘white foam’ was coming from johns mouth and colour has drained from his face.

Attempts were made to resuscitate John but tragically he was pronounced dead.

Coroner Jason Pegg said there are “concerns globally” that such full-face masks do not allow exhaled air to be purged through normal breathing, leading to a build-up of carbon dioxide.

Recording a verdict of death by misadventure, he said: “John was swimming in the sea, wearing a full face snorkelling mask, when he got into difficulties.

“The mask restricted John’s ability to breathe by causing a build-up of carbon dioxide in the mask, as a consequence of which John developed hypoxia. His swimming ability and sea conditions at the time contributed to his death.”

He continued: “There are clearly causes for concern about the use of this mask, the Go Fun snorkelling mask full face. As a coroner, I do have powers to make a Prevention of Future Deaths report; however, Go Fun are no longer trading or selling this mask so I am unable to make a report as there is no-one I can properly write to about my concerns about using the mask.”

A post-mortem examination showed Mr Bazzoni died of hypoxia – oxygen deprivation – with a secondary cause of cardiovascular disease.

The painter and decorator became “well-known” in the Andover community, running his own business named J.R. Bazzoni Decorators for around 20-25 years before shutting up shop in the early 2000s to work with other companies.

Andover Advertiser: John and his three daughtersJohn and his three daughters

His daughter Victoria said: “He always used to say that he was ‘just a decorator’ and play himself down a lot but he should be remembered as someone who was an adventurer and curious about the world.

“He had so many other interests; he couldn’t just be defined by his job, he was a very intelligent man.”

Nicola said: “He was a really fun person to be around, he always wanted to go on an adventure.

“He really like to be outside, he really liked nature, he had never really seen much before being out of the UK but then he swam with whale sharks, with turtles; he did all sorts. He loved Australia; his house became a tribute to Australia with new bits such as kangaroo skin whenever he came back.”

Amy said: “We knew if dad was around, nothing was ever going to get too serious as he was fun. He was always the first one running up to the zipwire in the park.

“He was definitely a child at heart. He was going to make such an amazing grandad and for us we were really lucky he was our dad.”