Further details have come to light about the death of Nick Cave’s son, Arthur, which have suggested that emergency responders could have been delayed up to 20 minutes due to a locked gate.
Arthur, 15, fell off a 100ft cliff near his home in Brighton on Tuesday and died from his injuries in hospital, but now witnesses are claiming that his care may have been delayed.
Witnesses near the accident have claimed that paramedics were unable to reach Cave due to a thick locked steel gate that separated them from the spot where he fell.
After finding the gate locked, a paramedic ran to a local hotel where they were told a set of keys to the gate was kept, but a workers at the hotel insisted that they didn’t have them.
Speaking to The Mirror, a worker claimed that it is not the first time paramedics have asked them for the keys, only to be turned down.
“We repeatedly have paramedics coming in here looking for a key to that barrier and I’ve repeatedly contacted the seafront office asking for a key,” said the worker.
“I’ve emailed them, I’ve called them. I brought this to their attention three times last week. It’s shocking. I often say to them, ‘What’s it going to take? The death of someone?’”
Witnesses at the scene have claimed that the paramedics then tried to open the gate with bolt cutters, but were again unable to get through.
The witnesses then said paramedics borrowed bicycles from locals and attempted to ride towards Cave with their supplies on their backs. The ambulance was reportedly stuck at the gate for up to 20 minutes, whilst a lifeguard rode towards them with the keys.
Arthur was later taken to hospital but died of his injuries.
This account, however, is disputed by emergency services who claimed that, although there was some delay, it did not amount to 20 minutes.
“We are always on the scene of our most serious emergencies as quickly as possible. There was minimal delay to the patient being cared for by a full paramedic crew,” said SECAmb.
“It certainly wasn’t 20 minutes before someone was involved in caring for him. CPR had already been given prior to our arrival.”
A member of the local council confirmed that they are looking into the accessibility of the gate.
“We understand there was a minimal delay to ambulance access to the pedestrian area due to a locked gate,” said a spokeperson to The Mirror, "We have taken steps to improve gate access for emergency services, including installing combination-code key boxes.”
In a tribute to their late son, Nick Cave and his wife, Suzie, described Arthur as their “beautiful, happy, loving boy”.
His twin brother, Earl, described him as a “joy to be around” and the “best brother [he] could ever ask for”.