The parents of a former Royal Marine who collapsed and died in Kenya have paid tribute to their son, describing him as an action man.
Ben Ryalls was working in maritime security when he died early on Tuesday, July 24, in Mombasa, just hours before he was due to begin a month’s leave.
Ben, 34, who grew up in Clovelly, had suffered heart failure. He has a partner, Wilaiwan, and a two-year-old daughter Emily Anne..
African news reports said Ben and two of his colleagues had visited a pub after the vessel he was working on, MV SVS Frobisher, docked in Mbaraki Wharf at around 8.40pm on Monday, July 23..
At the time his death was being treated as suspicious by Kenyan authorities although the Foreign Office were unable to give any more information.
His parents Dennis and Denise Ryalls, who live at Bucks Cross, said they heard the heart-breaking news later that day.
Mr Ryalls, 61, said: “A chap came to the door. I assumed it was to do with the solar panels which are being put up on the village hall.
“But he came in and explained he worked for Ben’s company Drum Cussac and said I should sit down.
“As he was supposed to be on leave from that day I thought he might have hurt himself but the man said it was much worse and said he had died.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I went out to find Denise who was in the garden to tell her the news.
“He was an action man. When he was younger he was tying up ropes and climbing trees.”
Denise, 61, added: “It just still doesn’t feel real. It just couldn’t have happened.”
Article and image courtesy of thisisnorthdevon.