Stoker was exposed to asbestos

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A FORMER naval mechanic died of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Ronald Carter, 81, of Vine Court, Billingborough, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in June this year and died on October 4.

An inquest at Stamford Town Hall on Tuesday heard Mr Carter was exposed to asbestos while working as a boiler stoker and mechanic in the engine room of HMS Abercrombie.

Coroner Gordon Ryhall read out a statement prepared by Mr Carter in September for a personal injury claim which said all the pipes in the ship were lagged with asbestos.

The pipes also ran through the sleeping quarters so it was almost unavoidable they would be knocked or damaged due to the confined nature of the ship. This would have released asbestos fibres into the air.

Mr Ryhall recorded a narrative verdict. He said: “Mr Carter was exposed to asbestos.

“The exposure during his time in the navy was very common. At the time it wasn’t appreciated what a dangerous material it was.

“It is a nasty condition with an unpleasant last few months.”

Speaking after the inquest Mr Carter’s daughter Lynne, of Swinderby, near Lincoln, said more information about the dangers of asbestos exposure should be available.

She said she was glad she found out the cause.

She added: “My father’s death could have been prevented. He was a fit man and there was no indication he was ill.

“But once it is diagnosed there is nothing you can do.”

Mrs Carter praised the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team which supported her and her father throughout his illness.