An unnamed man died mondaynight after spending 11 hours in the sun in Green Park, central London. According to friends he was working on his tan. The man, said to be in his late sixties, drank very little water because he disliked public toilets. He was found after sunset, seriously burned and irreversibly dead.
The man, a retired assurance broker, told his daughter on the phone that he would continue to sunbath 'until someone tells me not to.' The fact that no one did, is of great concern to the family. 'It breaks your heart to know that this can still happen in this country,' his daughter told the Daily Mail.
The angry family of the man told the newspaper about their plans to sue the London borough of Westminster for negligent behavior. 'There were no signs in the park,' a bereaved cousin said. 'How was he supposed to know he couldn't lie there? How was he supposed to know he would be killed?'
Dermatologist Peggy Higgins from the Suncare Research Centre in Wolverhampton stresses the need for proper warnings against sun damage. 'We are not used to heat waves like this,' she explains. 'People in Britain think the sun is a nice luxury, but its a killer. Tragedies like these are preventable.'
The family have now joined forces with skin cancer charities in a campaign for sun signs; signs put up at all entries of all london parks with advice against sunburn and heatstroke. The signs will stress that it is better to find a tree to lie under and that a burning sensation of the skin may need direct medical attention. Sun wardens should be hired to enforce the advice.