Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Paul Monk drowned while cycling after 21st birthday drinks

Disused Hayling island rail bridge
Image caption Paul Monk's body was found near Hayling Island's ruined railway bridge

A man drowned off the Hampshire coast after becoming disorientated while cycling on his 21st birthday, an inquest has heard.

Paul Monk, of Southsea, had been drinking with friends in Havant in March before attempting to cycle to Hayling Island.

His body was found on the foreshore after police said he got disorientated and ended up in the water.

Portsmouth's coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

The inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall heard Burger King worker Mr Monk had been celebrating with friends at the White Hart pub on 19 March when he left at about 22:00 GMT. He had said he was going to visit a friend, Ruby Saddler, on his bike.

Miss Sadler told police that when she spoke to Mr Monk on the phone, he sounded "completely smashed".

'So devastating'

Mr Monk did not arrive and his body was found two days later on the foreshore close to an old railway bridge, now in ruins, which used to connect Hayling Island with the mainland.

The inquest was told he had drunk about three pints as well as some vodka.

David Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, said that Mr Monk had some money worries but said there was no suggestion that these had any connection to his death.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, he said: "Like a lot of young men he liked a drink and he could generally handle it.

"He had been on his way to Hayling, he has got disorientated, it's late at night, it's got dark, I think he has been overtaken by the tide."

He added: "I am so terribly sorry, it must be so devastating for the family."

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