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Kevin Wilkinson drowned in the River Colne after drinking binge
A man drowned in the River Colne after spending the day drinking in pubs and clubs across London and Watford.
Kevin Wilkinson, 50, fell into the river near Wiggenhall Road in the early hours of November 24 last year.
He had been drinking with two friends from noon the day before and had three times the drink driving limit in his blood when he died.
An inquest into his death, held in Hatfield today, heard how the large amount of alcohol would have had a detrimental effect on his motor and cognitive functions.
The bus driver, who was born in Rotherham but lived in Hackney, London, contacted two friends at 9am on November 23, asking if they wanted to go for a drink.
The men visited The Ship pub in Hackney at midday and then went on to other pubs and clubs, before arriving in Watford at 9.30pm.
From there, Mr Wilkinson and his friends Mr Wallis and Mr Duffy went to The Moon Under Water pub in the High Street.
Mr Duffy felt unwell at about 11.35pm and called an ambulance, he was looked over by paramedics and decided to stop drinking.
The three men were next seen in the Jury’s Inn hotel in Clarendon Road trying to get a room for the night.
They were next spotted by a CCTV camera in Tesco buying a bottle of vodka at about 3am, and then moved on to the BP garage in Wiggenhall Road to buy cigarettes.
It was then that the three men decided to go for a walk down the river, walking 100 metres down the towpath before they found a bridge.
The men were jumping around on the bridge when Mr Wilkinson complained of chest pains, and collapsed on the path.
His two friends helped him up, but Mr Wilkinson staggered forwards and fell head first into the river.
DC Jamie Petchell, who investigated the incident, said: "It was pitch black and incredibly foggy. Mr Wallis and Mr Duffy said he looked like he was in control.
"They tried to grab his leg but lost grip and then tried to find him by shining their mobile phones at the water, but then they lost sight of him as he was carried away in the current.
"Neither of them was prepared to go in due to the conditions and the temperature and they lost him quite quickly.
"It was pitch black, coupled with the fact Mr Wilkinson had been drinking, made it a very dangerous situation."
Coroner Alison Grief said Mr Wilkinson died an accidental death, and added: "He had consumed a large amount of alcohol that day and the time period when things went badly wrong was very small."