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Yachtsman rescue attempt 'heroic'.

A yachtsman died when his dinghy capsized as he rowed away from his moored boat, an inquest heard yesterday. A would-be rescuer thought the object floating in the water was a life jacket, but it turned out to be retired policeman Douglas Baker, 76.

He was wearing the life jacket when he set off for a day's sailing with his brother-in-law.

But the inquest heard the life-jacket slipped off him when the dinghy overturned in Cardiff Bay.

Another yachtsman went to pick up the life-jacket and found Mr Baker floating underneath it.

Fireman Owen Lacey, 35, who was working on his boat at the time, told the hearing, 'I heard an unusual sound and looked out of my boat.

'I saw a man waving to me from in the water.

'I got in my motorised boat to head over and on my way I saw a life jacket floating in the water and thought I'd pick it up.

'I pulled on it and it seemed a bit heavy - as I pulled up I could see there was somebody underneath it.

'He was vertical but entirely submerged in the water.'

The grandfather-of-four was pulled from the water onto a pontoon where Mr Lacey and a passer-by tried to resuscitate him for 25 minutes.

Cardiff Coroner Mary Hassell paid tribute to the bravery of the two men who tried to save Mr Baker's life.

She said, 'Mr Baker was fortunate in one sense in that there were many people around to rush to his aid.

'They gave him CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] for a full 25 minutes - that's a long time. I must say I find their attempts of resuscitation quite heroic.'

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 26, 2006
Words:287
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