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Scottish boy's death in WA 'an accident'

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016

The death of a 14-year-old Scottish boy, who suffered severe heat stroke while on a bushwalk, has been ruled an accident by the WA coroner.

Ewan Louis Williamson became disorientated with his father on the Badjirrajirra Walk in the North West Cape in December, 2012 and an inquest examined the difficulty in getting emergency services to the scene.

In her findings, Coroner Ros Fogliani said the boy's father had miscalculated the effect the heat would have on his son, who had arrived from Scotland where it was winter, and at one point took a wrong turn on the trail that meant Ewan spent longer in the tough conditions.

"The tragedy of Ewan's death is magnified by the immeasurable grief of his parents," she said.

Ms Fogliani said the officer who took the emergency call from the father did not realise the severity of the situation but should have.

"Had an ambulance arrived earlier, it would have increased Ewan's prospects of survival," she said.

"However, it cannot be said with certainty that his survivability would have been assured, or sadly, that it would even have been likely."

Ms Fogliani said police did not cause or contribute to the boy's death and also noted "the courageous and sustained efforts" of emergency personnel working in an inhospitable environment.

Since the teenager's death, there had been significant improvements in procedures, resourcing and technology so there was no need to make any recommendations, Ms Fogliani said.

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