A TEACHER was paralysed and later died when he dived headfirst into shallow water while on holiday with friends, an inquest heard.

Michael Orridge had run down the beach to the sea and leapt towards the water, when he realised how shallow it was.

Fearing he would break his arms, the 28-year-old moved them to his side but landed on his head, breaking his neck.

Doctors operated on Mr Orridge to straighten his neck, although they could not fix the paralysis.

However, during one of the procedures carried out at a hospital in Seville, complications caused his heart to stop.

When doctors gave him drugs to kick start his heart, it caused a haemorrhage in his brain which killed him.

Speaking after the inquest yesterday, Mr Orridge’s mother Lorraine said her son, from Fareham, had done more in his 28 years than many would do in their whole life.

She said: “Michael really just loved life and did not waste a single second.

“He had recently changed careers and became a modern foreign languages teacher. He had found the career he loved.

“We have been told that he was inspirational as a teacher – he did things a different way and his pupils really miss him.

“Michael was very active, cycling was his first love – particularly in the Alps – and he always wanted to be the first to the bottom of the mountain.

“He also started a golf society among his friends and they would play an annual competition each year.

“They have now renamed the competition the Michael Orridge Cup in memory of him.”

She said his friends raised £38,000 to try and bring him home, but he died before they were able to.

The inquest heard Mr Orridge had been conscious and talking when his parents arrived from the UK after his accident at Playa del Rompeculos on April 4.

But on April 15 doctors told his parents that blood thinning drugs given to kickstart his heart during one procedure had caused a haemorrhage in his brain.

Recording a verdict of accidental death at Portsmouth Coroners’ Court, coroner Robert Stone said: “In summary, Michael was full of life.

“He was working as a modern foreign languages teacher, and was well-respected and inspirational.

“He enjoyed an active life and went on holiday with colleagues to Seville in Spain.

“He died after he dived into sea, it was shallow water which he realised and moved his arms aside but hit his head.

“He was taken to hospital and was stable for a while but his condition deteriorated.

“The cause of death was spinal trauma and massive cerebral trauma. I am recording a conclusion of accidental death.”