Dorset

Bournemouth man died after river 'tubing' in Laos

  • 14 September 2011
  • From the section Dorset

A Dorset man drowned after "tubing" down a river during an adventure holiday in south-east Asia, an inquest has heard.

Benjamin Light, 23, of Bournemouth, was on holiday in Laos when he took part in the extreme sport on 13 April at Phoudindaeng Village near Vang Vieng.

The court heard the trip on a tube down the river also involved several stops to drink shots of alcohol.

The coroner sitting in Southampton recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Gordon Denson, deputy coroner said that Mr Light's mother, Andrea Lowehry, had been in contact with a professional lifeguard who had been on duty on the river bank the day her son died.

He had described how all the participants of the activity had been given alcohol during stops on their way down the river.

'Eyes rolled back'

Mr Light then swung on a rope swing and jumped into the river.

"He was immersed for some time then crawled back on to the riverside," Mr Denson told the inquest.

"He then stood up, said 'excuse me' and fell backwards.

"His eyes rolled back and, when attempts were made to resuscitate him, a little bit of water came out of his mouth and at that point he passed away."

Mr Light's embalmed body was repatriated to the UK. where a post mortem-examination revealed no clear cause of death, although there were signs of cardio-respiratory failure caused by drowning.

Mr Denson said: "Benjamin Light was on a holiday to Laos to experience what a lot of people want to do, an adventure holiday.

"He was riding down on a tube in the river, but the difference in this was that during the course of his experience he obviously consumed alcohol and then swung across the river on a rope.

"He went into the river and I can only surmise that while immersed in the water he took on board a lot of water into his body, which ultimately caused the cardio-respiratory failure."

He added: "I wish to pass on my own personal condolences to the family.

"It's always difficult when you lose a family member, especially when one is so young as Benjamin who was 23 years of age."

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