A FISHERMAN who died off the Dorset coast drowned after being tied to his spear gun, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Scott, 27, was found by search teams on Sunday, July 16.

Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin was told Mr Scott, who was from Winterborne Whitechurch near Blandford, went missing on the evening of July 10. He had gone spear fishing east of Weymouth and a bag containing his belongings was located at White Nothe.

Coroner’s officer Laura Thorne told the Bournemouth inquest a search operation was launched involving police, coastguards and lifeboat crews. During the morning of July 16, local spear fishermen located Mr Scott’s body three metres below sea level, around 100 metres from shore. Ms Thorne said Mr Scott’s body was found “tied to his spear gun”, which had been discharged and got caught in seaweed.

Weymouth lifeboat recovered the body to shore, where a paramedic confirmed the body showed no signs of life at 12.29pm.

An initial post mortem carried out on July 28 was unable to provide a provisional cause of death.

Following subsequent analysis of retained samples, a provisional cause of death was given as drowning under alcohol intoxication.

Mrs Griffin said she was going to allow the body to be released for purposes of Mr Scott’s funeral, but asked for the retention of the samples taken to ascertain a provisional cause of death.

Police found no suspicious circumstances in relation to Mr Scott’s death.

Mrs Griffin had received some statements in connection to the death of Mr Scott, but at the inquest she requested statements to be given within six weeks of the hearing from police and the deceased’s family.

The inquest was adjourned until 12pm on February 2, 2018.