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Man drowned after being asked to leave Portsmouth night club

Date
04/02/2010
What Happened
Person overboard/swept away/fell in the water
What Caused
Human factor
Casualty type/Qty
Casualty
Gender
Male
Causal Factors
Lack of awareness of hazards/obstacles
Injury Details
Drowning
Outcome
Accident suspected
Alcohol/Drugs
Alcohol

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Description of Incident
A university student was found drowned in the sea after being asked to leave a nightclub for being drunk on cut-price drinks, an inquest has heard.

Richard Staight, 20, of Bristol, had been on a night out with friends at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Portsmouth on the evening of 4 February.

At midnight he was spotted "potentially intoxicated" in the toilets and agreed with staff he would leave the club.

The next morning his body was found by a ferry crew floating in the sea.

David Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The inquest heard that Mr Staight and six friends had been drinking beer and wine at his house before going to the student night at the club, where they drank half-price double vodka and Red Bulls.
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When taken aside by door staff, he agreed to leave.

The court heard he was seen on CCTV leaving Gunwharf Quays wearing only a polo shirt and jeans, walking in a "weaving" and "staggering" manner.

He was found next to the beach at the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth at 0805 GMT.

Dr Basil Purdue, pathologist, said the cause of death had been drowning and that his body had probably been in the water for some hours.

He added that toxicology tests showed Mr Staight had had four-and-a-half times the alcohol drink-drive limit in his blood.
Became disorientated

Dr Purdue said: "He would have been severely drunk, he would have been very drunk for a young person.

"Clearly that is relevant in how Richard entered the water, it must be a factor."

Gareth Johnson, door supervisor, said he was asked to bring Mr Staight from the toilets to be assessed by the duty manager.

He said: "He wasn't unsteady on his feet, he didn't look at first impressions to be intoxicated.

"He just said, 'It's fine, I want to go home'."

Mr Johnson said he escorted him from the premises.

The coroner said he believed Mr Staight had become disorientated because of the drink and cold weather after leaving the club and had fallen into the water in a working fishing port area.

He said: "What happened is a very tragic accident. It is an unforeseen consequence of having a night out with friends.

"I am so awfully sorry, it's the loss of a life with a great deal of potential."
Supporting Information
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11428770

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