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Dehydration causes British student to hallucinate and plunge over cliff on bike

23-year-old recovering in hospital in Dubrovnik after incident at start of three-week cycling holiday

A British student is recovering in hospital after falling 65 feet over a cliff during a cycling holiday in Croatia. Luke Sheppard, aged 23, is believed to have suffered hallucinations due to severe dehydration as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius.

Luke, from Seaford, East Sussex, was at the start of a three-week cycling holiday with friends when the incident happened, reports The Sun.

The newspaper adds that a friend named only as Geoffrey noticed he was missing from the group and went back to find him lying stunned in a bush.

Discovering that Luke had swallowed his tongue, Geoffrey enlisted the help of a local shopkeeper to call paramedics. The art student is now recovering in hospital in Dubrovnik, and his father and brother have flown out to be at his bedside.

Luke’s mother Linda told The Sun: "I've been told he hallucinated and blacked out in the heat. When he was taken to hospital he had two seizures and was put on a ventilator. At first it was feared he had brain damage but he's now officially out of a coma and can recognise his dad and brother.

"He's responding to what people say. His speech is slurred but we are very hopeful."

She added: "I can't thank Geoffrey enough. Without him it could have been a very different ending."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Simon_MacMichael | 12 years ago

Funnily enough, yesterday they had an article from Page 3 Girl (and Cav's other half) Peta Todd saying why she loves bikes:

WolfieSmith | 12 years ago

I can see it now. 'Cycling bad for you!' Says your Scorching Soaraway Summer Sun!!!  37

mad_scot_rider | 12 years ago

Hope the lad makes a full recovery - just OUCH!

But as MercuryOne points out it's clear that some more info would flesh the story out - from a cursory reading it sounds like a group of lads on hols and 1 of their number wasn't able or prepared to match the others - just glad his mate spotted him missing

WolfieSmith | 12 years ago

Crikey! Without criticising Luke without the full facts one of the dangers to new cyclists is thinking you can treat hydration on long distances in the heat as just another cycling technique - something you can experiment with. Even those with experience misjudge the conditions. I thought I could do a chain gang last year in just 28C carrying one small bottle as it was the evening. Doh! I was as dry as a pharoah's flipflop and abandoned the group after just 15 miles. In Mallorca last month I carried two bottles, spare tabs and was up, out and back by 11.30am to avoid the heat. Then driving around the island with the family we'd come across large lads in dark jerseys labouring through a Spanish lunchtime of 37C...

I know it's MBO time (Master of the Bleeding Obvious) but I would advise all newcomers to road cycling abroad in the height of summer to: avoid lots of booze the night before; get out very early and get back early (early mornings are always the best time anyway) and drink, drink, and drink some more.

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