Suffolk

Drowned Ipswich angler 'took drugs while night fishing'

Beechwater Pond, Chantry Park, Ipswich
Image caption The three friends had been night fishing in Chantry Park

An angler who drowned had been using cannabis and cocaine while night fishing, an inquest heard.

Michael Holder, 27, was pulled from a pond in Chantry Park, Ipswich, by two friends who found him at about 08:35 BST on 15 September.

The court heard he had had a blackout in 2018, but doctors had not diagnosed the cause of it.

The coroner said his death was accidental, but it was not known how he ended up in the water.

Mr Holder, of Sheldrake Drive in Ipswich, had set up a tent with his two friends, Dalston Elliston and Stefan Dziwak, on 14 September.

Mr Elliston said they had taken the drugs as they "liked to have a little dabble now and again".

Face-up in water

Mr Dziwak said he found Mr Holder face-up in the water with his feet still on the bank.

Mr Elliston pulled him out and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He was declared dead at Ipswich Hospital at about 10:00.

The inquest heard Mr Holder had had a blackout the previous year when marshalling at a fishing event in Oxford with Mr Elliston.

An Ipswich Hospital consultant's letter said it was likely to have been a "generalised seizure".

The medical advice was to take a "wait and see" approach and adopt "common sense" measures, such as not driving and not going fishing on his own until his follow-up appointment, which he had not attended.

The coroner said the cause of death was drowning, but "because there were no actual eyewitnesses, we're not going to be able to know how he came to be in the water as found".

Cheryl Holder, Mr Holder's mother, told the inquest: "I think probably it was just an accident - one of those things that happens."

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