Hole in anglers' boat led to tragedy

A 15-millimetre hole cut in a dinghy led to the death of Needham Market angler Mark Shave and his friend, an inquest heard today.Coroner Peter Bedford at the Guildhall, Windsor, heard 32-year-old Mr Shave, of Pinecroft Way and Mark Bennett, 40, of Horley, Surrey, had been at Wraysbury Lake, near Slough, when their boat capsized.

A 15-millimetre hole cut in a dinghy led to the death of Needham Market angler Mark Shave and his friend, an inquest heard.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, coroner Peter Bedford at the Guildhall, Windsor, heard 32-year-old Mr Shave, of Pinecroft Way and Mark Bennett, 40, of Horley, Surrey, had been at Wraysbury Lake, near Slough, when their boat capsized.

The court was told it was likely both men were returning from The Perseverance Public House, near the lake, when Mr Bennett's eight foot motorised dinghy went down on the night of December 30, last year.

Geoffrey Long, an expert in fibreglass boat construction for the Maritime Coastguard Agency told the inquest that in his subsequent investigation of the dinghy he discovered a slot had been drilled or punched into a section of the bow probably to accommodate a mooring line.

Mr Long said: "The boat as designed would be adequate to carry two adults across the lake. However cutting the slot in the bow destroyed the recovery buoyancy in the hull and in my opinion rendered the boat unsafe."

The inquest also heard the two men died from cardio respiratory arrest with alcohol being a contributory factor towards the speed of their death.

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Coroner Mr Bedford recorded verdicts of accidental death.

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