A dad boating on the River Thames with his young son accidentally fell overboard and drowned.
His son was left helplessly sobbing alone on the boat, an inquest into Jake Brown’s death has been told.
The construction foreman was reported missing after the terrified child was spotted floating on the boat on his own after their day trip along the river through Surrey.
The 30-year-old dad-of-two’s fiancee Rebecca and mother Wendy remained hopeful he would be found alive as Jake was an “excellent swimmer.”
But specialist divers tragically discovered his body the next day on the riverbed, close to where he had plunged in at Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.
Ana-Marie Lorincz was fishing with her boyfriend on June 16 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.
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 Mr Brown, of Chertsey, later that afternoon.
He appeared to have a facial injury, the inquest was told.
Sobbing at the hearing in Woking, Surrey, Mr Brown’s heartbroken 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.”
However, the coroner heard from pathologist Dr Michael Heath who revealed that Mr Brown had ingested a “large amount” of cocaine very recently prior to his death.
The pathologist told the inquest the dad’s death 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.”