Rescue Of Nick Cave’s Son Was Delayed By Locked Gate

Paramedics who treated Arthur Cave, the son of Nick Cave, after he fell from a cliff and later died in Brighton, UK, last week were reportedly delayed by a locked gate.

As Fairfax Media reports, emergency vehicles were reportedly blocked from accessing the beach at Ovingdean Gap, where Arthur was found, for up to 20 minutes as they waited for someone to retrieve the key to a gate.

Ovingdean Cliff Gap, Where Arthur Cave Was Found. Image: Wikimedia Commons / Dominic Alves

Ovingdean Cliff Gap, where Arthur Cave was found (Image: Wikimedia Commons / Dominic Alves)

A member of the public reportedly gave Arthur CPR after he was found at the bottom of the 20 metre cliff on Tuesday, while a paramedic ran to a nearby hotel, believing that was where the key for the gate was kept.

The paramedic reportedly didn’t know that a member of hotel staff had previously warned the ambulance service the hotel did not have the key. Staff were also afraid of paramedics being delayed by the gate when they needed access to the beach.

“We repeatedly have paramedics coming in here looking for a key to that barrier and I have repeatedly contacted the seafront office asking for a key,” the staff member told the Sunday Times.

“I have emailed them, I have called them. I have brought this to their attention three times last week. It’s shocking. I often say to them, ‘What is it going to take? Is it going to take the death of someone?'”

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) say that while ambulance vehicles experienced a “short delay” in reaching Arthur, there would be no investigation because he was treated “quickly”.

A SECAmb spokesman told The Telegraph that critical care paramedics commandeered bicycles and reached Arthur while the ambulances waited at the locked gate.

“Two of our most senior paramedics tried to save the life of that boy within minutes of them arriving at the scene,” the spokesman has said.

A lifeguard with a key from the seafront office soon drove from Brighton on a quad bike, allowing ambulances to finally make their way onto the beach.

15-year-old Arthur, who was found with serious injuries on a coastal path below the cliff, was taken by helicopter to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and later died from his injuries. The incident is being treated as an accident.

Following Arthur’s death, Nick Cave and his wife Susie released a statement saying, “Our son Arthur died on Tuesday evening. He was our beautiful, happy loving boy. We ask that we be given the privacy our family needs to grieve at this difficult time.”

Arthur’s twin brother, Earl, has left a note (below) at the cliff face where Arthur died. The note reads:

Arthur – I love you so much. You were a joy to be around and I will never forget you. You were the best brother I could ever ask for.


An Aussie music icon, Nick Cave is best known as the frontman of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He has two other sons, Luke and Jethro.

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