Man may have had fit before drowning

A YOUNG man who drowned after falling into the River Orwell in Ipswich could have suffered an epileptic fit beforehand.

An inquest into the death of David Lee Dryden heard that the 22-year-old had suffered from epilepsy since the age of 14.

Mr Dryden’s body was discovered close to Stoke Bridge as police officers searched the river at low tide on February 5.

He had been reported missing the previous day and his mobile phone was found on the towpath close to the Ipswich skate park, prompting the search.

An inquest held into his death at IP City heard that the former Royal Hospital School pupil took daily medication for epilepsy.


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Coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “The evidence itself presents no indication as to how Mr Dryden came to be in the river.

“One possibility suggested by doctors is that he could have suffered an epileptic seizure and fallen into the river.

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“There is no clear indication that a seizure took place but it cannot be ruled out.

“There are a lot of unanswerable questions in this case.”

A post-mortem examination carried out on Mr Dryden recorded drowning as the cause of his death.

Recording an open verdict, Dr Dean, said: “This was a very sad set of circumstances.My thoughts are with Mr Dryden’s family and friends.” Following his death a number of affectionate tributes were paid to Mr Dryden, who was well known to regulars at the Ipswich skate park.

The former Aberystwyth University student’s friend, Hamish Campbell, said: “He was just a happy guy with big ideas. He had a good energy and everyone down the skate park has been really emotional.”

Another friend added: “He was a great friend to all and highly thought of within our circle of friends. He was always up for a laugh and a good time.

“Dave was known for his love of adventures and it is a great shame that his adventure through life was cut short.”

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