AN inquest into the death of a popular Christchurch sailor who fell in a boatyard was opened in Bournemouth yesterday.

Christopher Austin died at Southampton Hospital on April 14 after suffering severe head injuries at Rossiter’s Quay two days before.

Coroner’s officer Carolyn Stuart said: “This 71-year-old male had an unwitnessed fall from a ladder while varnishing a boat out of the water at a storage facility in Christchurch.”

A former teacher, Mr Austin had been a member of Christchurch Sailing Club since 1967.

Dorset coroner Sheriff Payne adjourned the inquest provisionally until July 10.