Man drowned after drifting out onto lake on air bed
- Credit: Archant
A 22-year-old man drowned at a Norfolk beauty spot after he drifted across a lake on an airbed, an inquest heard.
Kristers Bednarskis died at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn, on August 8, 2020. Senior coroner Jaqueline Lake heard Mr Bednarskis, a warehouse operative who lived in Peterborough, had travelled to the park with his girlfriend Gabriele Dulksnyte.
The couple had been sunbathing on an inflatable mattress in shallow water at the edge of a flooded quarry, when they were carried away from the bank by the wind.
Miss Dulksnyte said in a statement she decided to swim ashore to get something to eat. When she arrived, she looked back and saw Mr Bednarskis had slipped off the mattress and was in difficulty in the water.
She said she called for help and a group of men swam out to try to help Mr Bednarskis but by the time they reached him he had gone beneath the surface.
Mr Bednarskis's body was later recovered by police and firefighters using a boat. A pathologist concluded he died from drowning and said he had found no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system.
In a statement read out at the hearing Stephen Bacon, who bought the former Bawsey Pits in 2016, said he had improved signage around the lakes and employed a warden.
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A 41-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy died at the park on the same day in July 2013.
West Norfolk council health and safety officers carried out an investigation after Mr Bednarskis's death. Community safety manager Andy Nederpel said there was clear evidence Mr Bacon had carried out improvements to the site and was doing "all he reasonably can".
He added: "The only way to avoid another drowning at Bawsey Country Park is for the public to follow the rules."
Mrs Lake concluded Mr Bednarskis's death was misadventure. She added: "People do have to take responsibility for their own safety. If there are warning signs, they are there for a reason and should not be flouted by the public."