AN ELDERLY sailor drowned after falling off his yacht in Chepstow last year, an inquest in Newport heard yesterday (Tue).

Roderick Ling, 76, was preparing to set out from Chepstow Sailing Club to Lydney on October 25, 2013, when he got into difficulties.

Severn Area Rescue teams and coastguards were called after the alarm was raised by Mr Ling’s friend, who had intended to set out with Mr Ling to Lydney, located on the west bank of the River Severn, near the Forest of Dean, later that day. His body was eventually recovered from the water near the sailing club at around 1.55pm.

Mr Ling, from the Cricklade area in Wiltshire, had served in the army for 27 years before working as a logistics manager. An inquest at Gwent Coroner’s Court, sitting in Newport yesterday (Tue), heard from Mr Ling’s son, Robert, who said his father was as “fit as a fiddle” and had enjoyed good health up until his untimely death. A post mortem examination by Dr Ian Thompson, a pathologist at the rOyal Gwent Hopsital, found Mr Ling died as a result of drowning.

David Bowen, senior coroner for Gwent, told the inquest: “For many years, Mr Ling was a keen sailor. On October 25 last year, he had planned to set out with a friend and fellow enthusiast to Lydney. It resulted in the tragic discovery of Mr Ling’s body.

“There were no eye witnesses. It seems he missed his footing, and had accidentally fallen into the water with the tragic consequence that he had drowned.

“It was a tragedy that a hobby he had enjoyed most of his life was involved in his death.”

Mr Bowen recorded a verdict of accidental death.