York & North Yorkshire

Man died after North Yorkshire dinghy 'adventure'

A father died after getting into difficulty while using a dinghy on a swollen river at night with his partner's 13-year-old son, an inquest has heard.

Mark Allan, 35, had been drinking when he offered to take Harvy D'Silva on an "adventure" near their home at Brompton-on-Swale, last April.

Mr Allan's body was discovered the next morning after a search.

The coroner ruled the death was accidental.

The inquest heard Mr Allan and his partner Kursten D'Silva had both drunk heavily that evening and they allowed Harvy to stay up late.

She fell asleep downstairs and did not know Mr Allan was taking her son out in the pitch black on a dinghy.

When the dinghy capsized in the River Swale, the boy grasped hold of a branch in the fast-flowing water.

Mr Allan, a delivery driver, had got out of the water but went back in to save the teenager, probably exhausting himself in the process, the inquest in Colburn, North Yorkshire, heard.

'Tragic loss'

The boy ran home in 10 minutes and got in a hot bath after Mr Allan told him to go and that he would follow him.

Mr Allan was found dead by a search and rescue team at 09:00 BST the next day, four hours after Ms D'Silva had contacted police.

Coroner Rob Turnbull heard she did not tell police her son had been with Mr Allan because she did not want her partner to get in trouble.

Mr Turnbull said it would never be known if withholding the information made a difference to the outcome.

"This clearly was a tragedy, it shouldn't have happened.

"The reason it happened really stems from Mark's decision to take that dinghy out.

"He is clearly a tragic loss to all who loved him."