British photographer, 36, dies after ‘suffering a seizure’ while surfing off the coast of Sri Lanka
Posted on January 15th, 2019

By GEORGE MARTIN Courtesy MAILONLINE

  • Jon Lewin, 36, reportedly suffered a seizure while he was out surfing in Sri Lanka
  • Three Scandinavian doctors were by chance also present but failed to save Jon 
  • His girlfriend Immy Clifton paid tribute to the photojournalist after his death 

A British photographer and travel writer described as an ‘inspiration’ who ‘touched so many people’s lives’ has died while surfing off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Jon Lewin, 36, is believed to have suffered a seizure in the water while on holiday and doctors were unable to revive him.

His devastated girlfriend Immy Clifton, who he was on holiday with, paid tribute to ‘soulmate’ Jon in a heartbreaking Facebook post.

Mr Lewin’s best friend Charlie died surfing in 2004 – and Ms Clifton says they have been reunited in the afterlife.

Jon Lewin, 36, is believed to have suffered a seizure in the water while on holiday in Sri Lanka on Sunday last week

Jon Lewin, 36, is believed to have suffered a seizure in the water while on holiday in Sri Lanka on Sunday last week

The couple were joined by Mr Lewin’s best friends from the UK – and the group woke at 5am for an early surf.

Mr Lewin, a long-term sufferer of seizures, disappeared under water and failed to resurface two hours later.

The ‘free spirit’ grew up in Long Clawson, Leicestershire, before studying photojournalism at Swansea University.

He also wrote a travel cookbook titled The Locals’ Kitchen.

Three Scandinavian doctors were by chance also present but failed to save Mr Lewin.

She said: ‘They didn’t know anything was wrong until they noticed his surfboard floating in the water.

His devastated partner Immy Clifton, who he was on holiday with, posted an update after his death

His devastated partner Immy Clifton, who he was on holiday with, posted an update after his death

‘Everyone swam over to it and when they got there, felt that he was still attached to the leash.

‘Incredibly there were also three super efficient Scandinavian doctors in the water.

‘They were apparently amazing with him. Everything that could have been done was done but, it wasn’t meant to be.

‘It is presumed that he had a seizure, as he had no injuries, he knows the water so well and the waves were not that big.’

Immy added that she is ‘absolutely devastated’ and said ‘words can’t even describe the hole I feel through my heart physically and emotionally.

She said: ‘He died in the water (where he’d always said he wanted to die) doing something that he loved so much. He was in such a happy place in his life.

According to girlfriend Immy Mr Lewin's best friend Charlie also died while out surfing in 2004

According to girlfriend Immy Mr Lewin’s best friend Charlie also died while out surfing in 2004

‘If it was a seizure (most probable) then he would’ve instantly blacked out and it would have been painless.

‘He had said to me before that he never remembered his seizures or felt them coming on so his last moments on this earth would have been surfing a wave in his absolute element, loving life.

‘Although at this moment I can’t imagine life without him, his wise words are still ringing in my ears.

‘He knew death and grief intimately and said that his mum and best friend dying, at such young ages, spurred him on to live life to the absolute fullest, don’t waste precious time, make the most of every moment and make your dreams and passions a reality.

‘Be open and honest and full of love as you never know what’s around the corner.

Immy Clifton and Jon Lewin embarking on their trip to Sri Lanka. His body will be cremated in Sri Lanka and his ashes spread across his two favourite beaches

Immy Clifton and Jon Lewin embarking on their trip to Sri Lanka. His body will be cremated in Sri Lanka and his ashes spread across his two favourite beaches

‘Always look for the positive in life and the lessons. When things like this happen it’s so hard to but I know that’s what he would’ve wanted.

‘He had so much love for everyone in his life and inspired and connected with anyone that was lucky enough to cross his path.

‘He had such a simple and positive outlook on life. That’s why I called him Pooh bear (Winnie the Pooh).

‘I really feel that he was my soulmate and although we weren’t together as long as we wanted, he will always be with me and everyone else who shared love with him.

‘I hope I meet him again in another lifetime but for now, he’s with his mum and his best friend Charlie.

‘Good luck on your journey my one. I hope we find each other again in another lifetime.

Mr Lewin will be cremated in Sri Lanka and his ashes spread across his two favourite beaches.

He will then be carried home where the rest of his ashes will be laid in places close to his heart.

Jon Lewin pictured surfing in Sri Lanka was said to have had no injuries when he was pulled from the water - leading authorities to believe he had a seizure

Jon Lewin pictured surfing in Sri Lanka was said to have had no injuries when he was pulled from the water – leading authorities to believe he had a seizure

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