Fisherman drowned when his new life jacket failed to keep him afloat after epileptic fit sent him overboard, inquest …

A keen angler drowned when his new lifejacket failed to save him as he fished at a beauty spot, an inquest has heard.

Experienced angler Angus Rae, 51, toppled into 30ft of water from a boat when he suffered an epileptic fit.

He won a prize to fish at the reservoir – and bought the new £60 Parmaris lifejacket for his trip.

But the self-inflating lifejacket he was wearing for the first time did not turn 18st Mr Rae onto his back as he struggled in the water.

It was the first time Mr Rae, a keen angler since he was a child, had worn the self inflating lifejacket.

Friend desperately tried to reach him

His friend Simon Ladd tried desperately to reach his companion with an oar but couldn’t save him.

Mr Ladd said: “Angus was at the stern of the boat when he suddenly he fell into the water.

“He was submerged under the water before the life jacket inflated and he came to the surface.”

Other fishermen nearby held him above the water by his shoulders before two reservoir rangers managed to pull him out.

But despite being given CPR from the rangers and, later, paramedics Mr Rae could not be revived.

The inquest heard the father-of-two had won a raffle to fish for pike at Llandegfedd reservoir near Cwmbran

Former tree surgeon Mr Rae, of Minsterley, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, had suffered two previous seizures in the months before the tragedy, the inquest at Newport was told.

‘He was wearing his new life jackets’

His widow Alison, 51, wept as she told the inquest: “He had researched life jackets on the internet. He wasn’t concerned about fishing again because he was wearing his new life jackets and he felt safe.”

Coroners officer Jon Lewis told the inquest that Mr Rae had bought a Parmaris life jacket at a shop in Ludlow, Shropshire.

He said: “It is sustainable for use in extreme conditions but when wearing heavy clothing it will not self right.”

The inquest heard he was wearing a shell jacket and jumper and waterproof trousers.

Gwent deputy coroner Wendy James said: “Mr Rae bought the life jacket after considerable research and was wearing it for the first time. It gave him a sense of security because he thought it would turn him onto his back.

“He believed he had taken adequate precautions by wearing a life jacket.”

The coroner ruled Mr Rae’s death was accidental, and that he drowned after suffering an epileptic fit.

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