A GREAT Harwood man who drowned after falling into a Spanish marina had a high blood alcohol reading, an inquest was told.
The inquest heard that Alan Francis Taylor, 61, had been boarding his yacht, moored at Fuengirola, on the Costa del Sol, when he slipped, plunging into the dark winter waters.
His wife ran down the jetty screaming for help but it took fellow yachtsmen five minutes to drag him from the water, by which time he was dead.
Pauline Taylor, 49, told the inquest she had flown out to join her husband on their boat, Ricon, in January 2004. He had met her at the airport and they had taken the train back to Fuengirola where they went for a drink in a local bar.
Mrs Taylor said her husband, a retired electrical contractor, had one drink and then ordered another but did not finish it. She said he did not seem the worse for drink when they left the bar.
Mrs Taylor said they reached their boat by walking down a dimly-lit jetty. Her husband walked up the metal gangway first but as he did he appeared to slip. She said he clung onto the walkway and she said she would go and get help.
She said: "I ran down the jetty shouting for help. As I ran off I heard a splash and I knew he had fallen into the water."
Other boat owners were quickly on the scene and one of them, Peter Charnley, told how he and others struggled to get Mr Taylor out of the water.
Mr Charnley said: "I wish we had been able to get him out quicker.
"It took three of us to lift him onto the boat. I was pretty sure he was dead but I didn't want to say that."
Mr Charnley administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but paramedics declared Mr Taylor dead shortly after they arrived.
Mr Charnley said the gang plank was very steep on the night because the tide was high. He said it was also rigged in such a way that it could move in two directions which would have made it liable to twist with the movement of the water.
Coroner Michael Singleton said the investigation in Spain had revealed that Mr Taylor had sustained a head injury at the time of his death.
Mrs Taylor said she had not known of the injury until her husband's body was returned to the UK but she believed he may have struck his head on the boat anchor.
Mr Singleton said the post -mortem examination revealed a blood alcohol level approximately four times the UK drink-driving limit.
He said he was satisfied Mr Taylor had slipped as he boarded his boat and struck his head, possibly on the anchor, before falling into the water. The medical cause of death was given as drowning and Mr Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death.