7 December 2003
A fisherman was dragged to his death in the Thames
by a powerful fish pulling on his line, an inquest has heard.
Stanley King, who was recovering from an operation,
got tangled in his line and was pulled into the water at Windsor,
Berkshire, after a tug from the 3.5lb barbel. The 60-year-old called
for help to his friend John Speer, who was on the riverbank, but
he was unable to save him from drowning during the night time fishing
The body of the veteran angler, who had recently
had an operation on his stomach, was not found until the next morning
on 6 August this year. His friend Mr Speer, 82, has died since
the accident, and his son Keith gave evidence at the inquest on
Mr Speer told the coroner his father had heard two
splashes and then Mr King shouting: "John, John, I've gone
in." Mr Speer added: "He had a pull from a barbel, a
very strong fish, which caused the rod tripod to fall over and
would account for the small splash. His reaction was to grab the
new rod with the fish on it." The tug from the fish then made
Mr King step onto shingle and slip, the inquest heard.
Mr King's rod and line was later found downstream,
with the fish hooked on it.
East Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford recorded a verdict
of accidental death at an inquest in Windsor on Thursday.
Only one other angler has drowned on the same stretch
of river since 1934, according to the Civil Service Angling Society
which owns the fishing rights.
Story from BBC NEWS:
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