Mum-of-three died after drowning on holiday in Antigua

The inquest into the death was held at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

The case of Susan Thorley was heard at the Suffolk Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

An inquest into the death of a Haughley mother-of-three while she was on holiday in Antigua concluded that she died by "misadventure" after drowning. 

Susan Thorley, 55, and her partner Anthony Monaghan were holidaying in the English Harbour area of the island in May 2019.

Mr Monaghan described Ms Thorley as a hard-working and caring mum who had faced many "trials and tribulations" in her life. 

The inquest heard that Ms Thorley was a heavy drinker and would often drink two or three bottles a day. 

Ms Thorley was said to have  been enjoying her time on holiday with her partner in the days before her death. 

Mr Monaghan said that in the hours before her death, the pair had been drinking more heavily than usual.

"We were having a good time," said Mr Monaghan. 

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As staff were closing up for the night at the hotel's bar, Ms Thorley and Mr Monaghan were enjoying another drink. 

Ms Thorley went out of the bar area to smoke but did not return. 

After a while, Mr Monaghan went out to find his partner and believed she may be hiding, as it was the sort of game she liked to play. 

A passing security guard helped Mr Monaghan to look. They found her in the sea.

Mr Monaghan dived in to try and rescue Ms Thorley, carrying out CPR in vain on the beach. 

Emergency services were called but Ms Thorley was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. 

Coroner Jacqueline Devonish told the inquest that there had been difficulties getting information from Antiguan authorities during the investigation into the case.  

"I would have liked to receive more from Antigua," said Ms Devonish. 

Nevertheless, a post mortem examination in Antigua concluded that Ms Thorley had died from drowning with an underlying cause of hypertension.

Ms Devonish said that in making her conclusion, she had to consider the amount the couple had been drinking.

She described alcohol as having been a "major factor". 

She found that Ms Thorley's death was as a result of misadventure and that she had died from drowning, with underlying causes of hypertension and chronic alcohol excess.