Michael Mosley: TV Doctor's walk in hot weather could have resulted in lethal heat stroke and was "recipe for disaster"

Michael Mosley

Michael Mosley died of natural causes

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 12/06/2024

- 20:11

The beloved TV doctor died last week after taking a walk through the wilderness on the island of Symi

Dr Michael Mosley's body was discovered behind a wall just feet away from a resort on Agia Marina Beach after an extensive four days search, while the exact cause of death "cannot be determined", one expert has claimed extreme heat stroke was to blame.

A post-mortem examination revealed Michael had died at around 4pm on Wednesday, June 5 - the day he was reported missing - of natural causes, with no initial signs of injury. Separate toxicology and histology reports have now been ordered.

Speaking to GB News, Greek Journalist Daphne Tolis revealed that having spoken to the coroner's office, they have stated that following the post-mortem, an exact cause of death "cannot be specified".

Tolis explained: "I spoke to the coroner this morning after the post-mortem, and he told me the cause of death cannot be specified or determined because the body was decayed to an extent that they could not find the exact cause of death."

Now, Physio Chris Byrne, a lecturer in sports and health sciences at Exeter University, has claimed the circumstances surrounding Michael's death bore all the hallmarks of a fatal heatstroke.

During the time Mosley was on holiday with his wife Claire Bailey and the time he went missing, warnings were issued for extreme weather on the Dodecanese island as temperatures were projected to reach 40C.

Michael Mosley

Michael was seen on CCTV protecting himself with an umbrella


Mosley's age was also highlighted by Byrne as a risk factor, with the ability to regulate body temperature declining the older someone gets.

He told the Daily Express that "the tragic story of Michael Mosley illustrates the rare but potentially lethal effect of combining physical activity in high environmental heat.”

During his walk back to his hotel, Mosley would have had to trek through uneven terrain on the hills, with a lack of shade also being a major factor in making it harder to cool down.

It has been reported that Mosley had brought a bottle of water with him in his rucksack and an umbrella for shade, but had left behind his phone meaning he wasn't able to ring for help.

Michael Mosley

Michael was found after an extensive four day search


“[It was] not a good situation what was happening," Byrne continued. "You wouldn't recommend someone walking in 35 degree [C] heat, with no water at an advanced age, with no access to shade, walking uphill over rugged terrain and not knowing the endpoint.

"[It] is really a recipe for disaster. We don’t know what went on exactly but looking at the details [reported in the press] I would say it fits the bill for exertional heat illness...

"Walking for three hours in that sort of environmental condition is not advisable. It looks like he made some mistakes, took some wrong turns, ended up on rugged terrain, walking uphill, couldn’t seek shade, no access to fluid, and it’s just real tragic circumstances.”

The father-of-four was found by a TV crew filming with the local mayor and his deputy, with a cameraman, known as Antonios, revealing that he spotted "something on the beach near the fence."

Michael Mosley

It was reported the TV doctor died of natural causes


He "took a picture of the photo on the camera screen using an iPhone - zooming in on the phone," Sky News reported.

In a statement released by his wife, she said: "It has been three days since Michael left the beach to go for a walk.

“The longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children.”

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