A KEEN fisherman and sailor drowned after falling out his kayak while wearing fishing waders, an inquest heard on Thursday.

Gordon Richards, 75, was a regular visitor to Pembrokeshire from his native Bridgend. He often stayed at Woody Kiln Farm in Hebrandston, spending time fishing and boating on the Milford Haven estuary.

He used to access his boat, moored at Sandy Haven by a dingy but had bought a two-person kayak on eBay and used this on September 19 last year.

He and his partner, Carole Millington, spent the day fishing before returning to Sandy Haven where they moored the boat 50 yards from the shore.

Mr Richards sat in the back of the kayak.

The water was described as calm but the kayak turned completely upside down. It was later found that a fin normally fitted to the bottom of the kayak to stabilise it had been left in the car.

Miss Millington could not see Mr Richards but could hear him telling her not to panic and to hang on to the kayak.

She then saw him float away and lost sight of him.

The inquest heard that Mr Richards was wearing waist-high waterproof waders. Neither of the couple was wearing a lifejacket.

Miss Millington managed to get partially onboard the upturned kayak and paddle towards some rocks where she found herself stuck for some time as she waited for the tide to go out.

She then managed to reach the slipway and later alerted guests in a nearby holiday home at around 8.40pm.

Emergency services were called and coastguards, police and fire crews began a search of the area. At 11.26pm coastguards found a body upriver.

A post mortem gave the cause of death as drowning.

Pembrokeshire coroner, Mark Layton, returned a conclusion of accidental death, saying; "The couple were returning to shore following a fishing trip. Their kayak capsized and Mr Richards died in this accident."