Heart attack may have caused hm to fall into marina

The family of a pensioner who died after falling into Bangor Marina (pictured) have appealed for marinas to make sure they provide sufficient safety ladders on pontoons.

A coroner has found that a heart attack may have caused Alex McConnell, 70, to fall in the water in September 2010.

After the Belfast inquest, his son Brian said: ‘This was our opportunity to raise our concerns with regards to safety ladders and provision of them within the marina.

‘Hopefully with these concerns we have raised it will be acted on further and perhaps it may not happen again.’

It was either on his son’s boat or a friend’s that Mr McConnell planned on spending the night when he entered the marina after midnight, following a night of drinking.

But early the following morning a walker spotted his body floating in the water near the coastline.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson said there was one fixed ladder on the wooden pontoon, which John Wright, an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive, said broadly matched up to the guidance on the proportion of ladders to berths.

Ms Anderson said Mr McConnell could not pull himself out of the water using the ladder and this may have either been because of the alcohol or a heart attack.

The marina has installed nine more fixed ladders since Mr McConnell’s death, the inquest heard.

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