Wales

Cardiff Saracens rugby player marina death 'misadventure'

Owain Jones and partner Leanne Sylvester - they look to appear to be on holiday somewhere tropical together Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Owain Jones and Leanne Sylvester had been in a relationship for more than six years

A rugby player died when he plunged into a marina after wrongly thinking someone had fallen in, an inquest has heard.

Pontypridd Coroner's Court was told Owain Jones, 32, leapt into Penarth Marina during a night out with his fiancée on 12 October 2018.

The Cardiff Saracens RFC player shouted "someone was in the water" - but police later found no evidence of this.

A conclusion of misadventure was recorded.

Mr Jones and Leanne Sylvester, who had been together for more than six years, had been out for dinner before heading to bar Pier 64.

The inquest heard he shouted: "Babe, babe, babe, you need to come here," before seconds later jumping over the railings into the water.

Miss Sylvester then jumped into the marina in a bid to save him.

She said: "I took another breath and dived down to try and get him.

"I tried to dive down again but Owain was too far away."

Image copyright Geograph/Lewis Clarke
Image caption Owain Jones leapt over railings and into Penarth Marina
Image copyright Penarth Coastguard
Image caption HM Coastguard and fire crews were called to the scene to help with the search

The inquest heard Owain, who was not a strong swimmer, was later pulled from the water but pronounced dead at University Hospital of Wales on 13 October.

Witness Kevin Fairlie was on his boat when he heard "loud voices" and saw Owain jump.

Toxicology reports showed Mr Jones' alcohol levels were 181mg per 100 ml of blood. The drink drive limit is 80. No drugs were found in his system.

His medical cause of death was given as drowning.

Coroner Graeme Hughes said: "Owain did act deliberately. He didn't fall into the marina accidentally.

"It was a deliberate act that sadly and tragically went wrong and led directly to Owain's death."

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