Devon

Trawlerman Jamie Barbeary's death was accident

The death of a trawlerman who fell more than 20ft onto concrete, was accidental, a coroner has ruled.

The body of Jamie Barbeary, from Swansea, was found at Ilfracombe Harbour, Devon, in October 2009.

The 37-year-old had been due to skipper the trawler Olivia Belle.

Mr Barbeary fell more than 20ft (6.5m) while trying to get on board the boat, striking his head on the concrete plinth of a fuelling berth where the vessel had been moored.

At the inquest in Exeter, coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland was told Mr Barbeary was nearly three times the legal limit for drinking and driving when a sample of his blood was taken and examined.

'Tragic accident'

His partner, Jo Lucas, paid tribute to the man she said was considered to be "the best skipper in the Bristol Channel".

Ms Lucas said: "He loved that boat, he loved fishing and he was devoted to his family.

"He had been on boats since he was five years old, and he was held in very high regard."

A statement after the inquest, on behalf of the harbour masters, said: "This was a tragic incident involving a very well-known and popular member of our community.

"Our thoughts are with Mr Barbeary's friends and family and we hope that this outcome can bring some level of closure to what must have been a very difficult time for everyone concerned."

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