December 15, 2016

Best man dies after being playfully thrown off boat during stag do(Photos)


 A man has described the horrifying moment he threw his friend overboard as a prank during a stag do and he failed to resurface.

City banker Nishanthan Gnanathas, known as Nish, was the best man for his friend Youssef Ismail during the trip to Portugal on July 16.Pal Andre Van Eck told an inquest how he picked up Nish and chucked him into the water from a boat during a cruise.


He failed to resurface and the 31-year-old's body was recovered four days later.The group of 12 friends had been enjoying the first beer of the day after anchoring the boat for lunch at about midday on the River Tagus.

Giving evidence, Mr Van Eck told the court they teased Mr Gnanathas throughout the stag do, adding: "We had horse play all the time - just a stag do.

He said he had planned to throw Mr Gnanathas in the water at that specific spot - which the others knew about - after consulting with the captain, who assured him it was "safe".


Mr Van Eck told the court:
 "I went to see the captain. I said, 'look, somebody needs to get overboard. Is it alright if I chuck the best man over?'
"It wasn't in an offensive way.
"He said 'no, it is a bit dangerous because the boat is moving, he might get dragged under'."I thought, that is fair enough"Eventually we stopped. I went back to the captain a couple of minutes after. I went, 'can you stop being swept under?'"He said, 'yes. Do what you like, it's no problem.'
"We were on the boat standing, and Nish was just opposite me." Just before that, he went to get his phone, and Youssef took the phone off him. He said, 'look, I will take the photos'."
He said they were chatting for a bit, before he "told the guys to move out of the way"."I picked him up, and I threw him over.
"And to my recollection, he grabbed one of the rails, and half swung back on himself, hitting the side of the boat - whether it was his head or his body, I don't know, but there was a big bang.
"He went under.
"I was just about to jump. I saw Youssef had jumped already. And that was the last time I saw Nish.
"I swam underneath the boat, but we couldn't find him. My assumption was he would just come to the surface at some point."
We picked on Nish a bit because he was the best man"It wasn't in a bad way - you know, when we went to restaurants and the food was late, it was Nish's fault."We were all going to go into the water at some point. We even planned to swim to the shore, and go to the beach."The intention to hurt him was never there."
 He apologised to Nish's mum Mary, dad Packianathur, and his sister after giving evidence, telling them: "I am really sorry."
Mr Ismail, whose stag do it was, said:
 "We were on the boat and we pulled over."Nish ended up in the water. He hit his head on the way in, everyone went 'ooh'.About six seconds later, myself and Andre jumped in. But I couldn't find him, the water was very green."We were there until the police showed up.
 Coroner Fiona Wilcox recorded a verdict of misadventure.

She said:
I have found you entirely without guilt in this."This was an absolutely tragic accident that could not have been reasonably anticipated - just horse play that went tragically wrong.
Daily Mirror

No comments: