Death of Thornton man in Highland loch was a tragic accident

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The death of a Thornton man in a Highland loch was a tragic accident, a court has ruled.

Tom Finn, 28, drowned after falling from his canoe into Loch Lochy near Fort William, in Scotland, in September 2.

His inquest at Wyre Civic Centre in Poulton on Thursday heard how Mr Finn got into trouble in the water that afternoon.

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Handing down a conclusion of accidental death, coroner Richard Taylor said: “Tom was on a camping holiday with a friend in Scotland near Loch Lochy, and I was told they were paddling into a bay when Tom stopped to retrieve something in his pocket.

Loch LochyLoch Lochy
Loch Lochy

“It appears he lost his balance and fell into the loch.

“It was a windy day and it appears, sadly, that Tom’s body wasn’t found for a short time.

“The cause of death was drowning.”

Addressing Mr Finn’s family, he added: “There doesn’t appear to be much more than I can offer you apart from what I have already said, other than I am sorry you can’t learn anything else. I’m sorry that you have had to relieve this. I can only offer you my sincere condolences for your loss.”

Police, the Fort William Coastguard team, the Coastguard helicopter, the Stornoway Coastguard response team, and the Ambulance Service were all called to Loch Lochy on Monday, September 2 after a passer-by noticed Mr Finn, his friend and a dog in the water, along with a capsized canoe.

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Mr Finn was recovered from the water by a boat, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

His friend was taken to the Belford Hospital in Fort William, and was later allowed to go home. The dog was also rescued.

Police did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances involved in Mr Finn’s death. Weather conditions were overcast and rainy at the time, with winds of 20mph and an average temperature of 12 degrees.