Man Drowned After River 'Tubing'

A 23-year-old man drowned after ''tubing'' down a river during an adventure holiday in south-east Asia, an inquest heard today.

Benjamin Light, of Bournemouth, was travelling in Laos when he took part in the extreme sport activity at Phoudindaeng Village near Vang Vieng.

Gordon Denson, deputy coroner for Southampton, said that Mr Light's mother, Andrea Lowehry, had been in contact with a professional lifeguard who had been on duty on the river bank on April 13, the day her son died.

He had described how Mr Light had been riding on a tube down the river which involved several stops when the participants are given shots of alcohol, the inquest heard.

He then swung on a rope swing and jumped into the river.

Mr Denson said:

 ''He was immersed for some time then crawled back on to the riverside.

''He then stood up, said 'Excuse me' and fell backwards.

''His eyes rolled back and when attempts were made to resuscitate him a little bit of water came out of his mouth and at that point he passed away.''

After Mr Light's embalmed body was repatriated to the UK, a post mortem was carried out which revealed no clear cause of death but there were signs of cardio-respiratory failure caused by drowning, the inquest heard.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Denson said:

''Benjamin Light was on a holiday to Laos to experience what a lot of people want to do, an adventure holiday.

''He was riding down on a tube in the river but the difference in this was that during the course of his experience he obviously consumed alcohol and then swung across the river on a rope.

''He went into the river and I can only surmise that while immersed in the water he took on board a lot of water into his body which ultimately cause the cardio-respiratory failure.''

He added:

 ''I wish to pass on my own personal condolences to the family.

''It's always difficult when you lose a family member especially when one is so young as Benjamin who was 23 years of age.''