A FATHER-of-two who had travelled to Hungary on holiday for a music festival, drowned after getting into difficulty while swimming in a lake.

Martin Balson, aged 40, from Bournemouth, had travelled to Budapest with a female friend, Sarah Darvelle, last August.

The day after arriving, the pair decided to visit Lupa Lake in the Budakalász area of the city.

While Miss Darvelle remained on the beach, around midday on August 25, Mr Balson started to swim out into the lake.

Miss Darvelle, giving evidence during yesterday's inquest at Dorset Coroner's Court, Bournemouth, said: "There was a yellow kayak the other side of the lake. He said he was going to swim out and get it.

Miss Darvelle, from Somerset, who hadn't known the deceased for long, said he'd told her he was a confident swimmer.

"I'd seen him most of the time, " she told the inquest. "It didn't look like he was struggling. Then I heard him shouting, he shouted 'help'.

"I heard a shout and by the time I turned around I didn't see him anymore."

While two lifeguards raced out to help Mr Balson, others stopped Miss Darvelle from swimming out herself

"I wanted to go in," she said. "I wanted to save him but they were quite adamant, they kept pushing me back."

Miss Darvelle was moved to another part of beach, then two hours later police told her Mr Balson had died.

His mother, father, his estranged wife and other family members attended the inquest.

A post mortem was carried out in Budapest, and in the UK when Mr Balson was later repatriated.

Evidence was also heard that Mr Balson was indeed a competent swimmer, that he'd eaten a breakfast earlier that day and had not consumed any alcohol.

Other people were swimming in the lake at the time, indeed it is a popular spot with holidaymakers.

Assistant Dorset Coroner Grant Davies confirmed the official cause of death as asphyxia due to drowning.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Davies said: "On August 25, 2018, Mr Balson was swimming in a lake in the Budakalàsz area of Budapest.

"While swimming he raised the alarm that he was in difficulties. Despite attempts to find and rescue him, these attempts failed and Mr Balson's lifeless body was recovered from the lake by the emergency services."