Caerphilly dad David Lerwill died in 'freezing cold' pond

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David Lerwill,Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
David Lerwill was "worshipped" by his children

A father-of-eight drowned while swimming in a "freezing cold" pond with his best friend, an inquest has heard.

David Lerwill, 33, from Caerphilly, disappeared under the water at Pen y Fan, near Blackwood in March 2018.

He was about 66ft (20m) into the pond when he started shouting for help, the coroner in Newport heard.

Emergency services were called to the scene but Mr Lerwill's body was not found until the next day.

His friend, Paul Davies, said they had been drinking together and swimming for about 20 minutes.

"I went into the water. The water was freezing cold," Mr Davies said.

"I tried going in as far as I could but could no longer see him."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The inquest was heard at Newport Coroner's Court

The inquest also heard from passer-by Emma Padfield.

"He [Mr Lerwill] started shouting 'boys' and seemed panic stricken," she said.

Senior coroner Caroline Saunders said Mr Lerwill went for an "impromptu alcohol-fuelled" swim in the pond.

"David started to get into trouble. It is not clear why," she said.

When his body was pulled from the water he was found to have a blood-alcohol level which was below the drink-driving limit.

Following his death his sister, Lisa Lerwill, said: "David tragically had to leave behind his eight beautiful children who treasured and worshipped him and loved him so dearly.

"I really can't stress enough about how there are no warning signs around the pond to indicate danger or deep water."

The coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure.

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