Father drowned after taking a 'large amount' of cocaine, inquest hears

Father-of-two, 30, fell overboard and drowned while boating on the Thames with his young son after taking a ‘large amount’ of cocaine, inquest hears

  • Jake Brown, 30, reported missing after child spotted in boat on his own in June
  • Specialist divers discovered body next day on riverbed at Sunbury-on-Thames
  • The coroner heard he had ingested a ‘large amount’ of cocaine before his death
  • Assistant coroner for Surrey concluded death of engaged father was an accident

A father-of-two fell overboard and drowned while boating on the Thames with his young son after taking a ‘large amount’ of cocaine, an inquest has been told.

Construction foreman Jake Brown was reported missing after the child was spotted floating on the boat on his own following a day trip.

While his fiancé Rebecca and mother Wendy remained hopeful as the 30-year-old was an ‘excellent swimmer’, specialist divers discovered his body the next day on the riverbed, close to where he had plunged in at Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.

Jake Brown, 30, was reported missing after his child was spotted floating on the boat on his own following a day trip in Sunbury-on-Thames (above), Surrey, in June this year (file photo)

Ana-Marie Lorincz was fishing with her boyfriend on June 16 this year when she heard splashing and sobbing. 

In a witness statement, she said: ‘At 7pm, around 50 metres away from us I heard a splash which sounded like someone had fallen into the river and a young boy started crying.’

After emergency services were alerted, Mr Brown’s son Callum directed diving crews to the location where his father had fallen in, as the specialists deemed it unlikely that the body would have moved far down the river.

Divers used a special sonar device which led them to the body of 30-year-old Mr Brown from Chertsey on the afternoon of June 17 this year. He appeared to have a facial injury.

Sobbing at the inquest in Woking, Surrey, the Mr Brown’s mother said: ‘My son was an excellent swimmer, he would not have fallen in and not be able to get back out unless his injuries rendered him unconscious.

‘He would not have left his son on the boat, he 100 per cent would have been able to get out of the river. He had a facial injury, he must have knocked himself out.’ 

Divers used a special sonar device which led them to the body of 30-year-old Mr Brown from Chertsey on the afternoon of June 17 this year (file photo of the River Thames in Surrey)

The coroner heard from pathologist Dr Michael Heath, who revealed that Mr Brown had ingested a ‘large amount’ of cocaine before his death, which was as a result of drowning.

Assistant coroner for Surrey, Dr Karen Henderson, concluded that the tragic death of the engaged father was an accident.

She said: ‘It is not clear what the circumstances that led him to fall into the river were but he had taken a significant amount of cocaine prior to his death.

‘It is not possible to say the effect that would have had, other than severe intoxication but subsequently later that day he fell into the River Thames and he was unable to climb back into the boat or to reach the shore.’

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