‘Drinking to excess in hot-tubs can be fatal’ – Coroner’s warning after Suffolk man drowns aged 42

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

A warning has been issued over the dangers of drinking in hot-tubs after a Suffolk man drowned with potentially fatal levels of alcohol in his system.

Coroner Kevin McCarthy gave the advice today before recording a verdict of death by misadventure during the inquest of 42-year-old Alan Glossop.

Mr Glossop was found face down in the hot tub at his Waldringfield home on the morning of July 14 last year.

Today’s inquest heard Mr Glossop had been drinking with his friend Adrian Grimwood the night before.

In a statement, Mr Grimwood said he had been staying with Mr Glossop for a few days. During the evening of July 13, the two men shared a litre of vodka, Red Bull and several bottles of beer. Mr Grimwood said he left his friend in the lounge listening to Def Leppard at 12.30am and went to bed. He claimed Mr Glossop was fully clothed and not in the hot-tub. He said his friend was depressed “but did not feel he killed himself deliberately.”

The inquest heard Mr Glossop was a mechanic who had a history of depression, suffered from haemophilia and had been infected with hepatitis C during a treatment with contaminated blood products. He was said to be an “occasional binge drinker”.

Mr McCarthy said the unusual circumstances of Mr Glossop’s death had led police to call for a full forensic examination.

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The post-mortem examination gave drowning and alcohol intoxication as the cause of death. A toxicology report revealed a “very high concentration” of alcohol. For a social drinker, the levels were reported to have likely led to unconsciousness, with a risk of coma or death.

Mr McCarthy said the forensic investigation seemed to “eliminate strangling and point towards drowning”. “There were no injuries to suggest physical assault or restraint prior to death,” he said.

He added: “I hope this death will send a warning to members of the public who have a hot tub and might on occasion drink while using it. Drinking to excess in hot tubs can be fatal,”

Recording a verdict of death by misadventure, Mr McCarthy said: “I can infer that following Mr Grimwood’s departure Mr Glossop decided to use the hot-tub and in so doing fell into unconsciousness and drowned. I’m positive that when he got in to the hot-tub, he did not intend to drown.”

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