Angler Chris Newton died on first fishing trip alone

Chris Newton Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Chris Newton, an experienced angler, was fishing off the Cornish coast in December when he fell overboard

An angler died when he took his fishing boat out to sea alone for the first time, an inquest heard.

Chris Newton, 57, was fishing off the coast at Cadgwith, Cornwall, in December 2013 when he went overboard.

Sam James, the co-owner of the boat, believes the Coastguard should have called on the search and rescue helicopter earlier in the operation.

The Coastguard said all of the correct procedures had been followed. A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Newton left Cadgwith on his vessel, the Amy Jane, at about 12:30 GMT on 4 December. He was expected to return five hours later.

Image copyright Marine Accident Investigation Branch
Image caption The Amy Jane was found broken in two.

The inquest in Truro heard Mr James became increasingly anxious when he failed to return and called the Coastguard at 18:51 GMT.

Falmouth Coastguard alerted the Lizard lifeboat, coastal rescue teams and all vessels in the area.

The survey vessel, Triad, found Mr Newton in the water at 19:51 GMT. A helicopter was called and arrived at 20:08 GMT.

Mr Newton was taken by helicopter to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro but went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 21:10 GMT.

'Thrown overboard'

The inquest heard Mr Newton, a former director of environment for the States of Jersey, had been out on the 3.9m (13ft) boat with Mr James several times but never alone.

Image copyright Jersey Evening Post
Image caption Chris Newton, 57, had retired to Cornwall

Giving evidence, Mr James said he thought "a helicopter would have been tasked immediately" when he reported the missing boat.

James Instance, Falmouth Coastguard rescue centre manager, said they were initially dealing with "a vessel overdue".

He said as soon as it was known a man was in the water the rescue helicopter was alerted and sent to the scene.

John McCorquodale, inspector with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, told the inquest it was impossible to say for certain what had led to Mr Newton's death.

He said: "The boat was steered from a standing position.

"If Chris had removed his hand from the tiller to do something in the main part of the boat it is possible that the engine could have moved suddenly, causing the boat to veer sharply off course and throw him overboard."

Mr Newton was wearing a lifejacket but did not have a personal location beacon (PLB) or VHF radio.

A jury of nine people returned the verdict of accidental death.

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