An inquest is set to begin into the death of Solihull man John Cullen who was swept to his death by a flash flood in a cave in Thailand.

Mr Cullen, 24, was one of eight people killed when water washed away a party of tourists as they explored the cave in the Khao Sok national park in the south of the country on October 13 last year.

His 21-year-old girlfriend Helena Carroll survived by clinging to a ledge for 16 hours. The couple were just five weeks into a year-long trip to see the world.

At his funeral in Dorridge, Solihull, Helena's father John Carroll expressed his gratitude to John. He said: "I asked John to look after Helena and he did not let me down. But then, in his short lifetime, John Cullen never let anyone down. He was a shining example to all who met him."

John's sister Jackie Hanley added: "We are comforted to know that John spent the last few weeks of his life experiencing some of his happiest times. And we are so proud that he looked after Helena and she returned home safely."

The inquest will be held at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall.