A DAD on a coasteering trip with his sons drowned off Purbeck during an incident which saw eight others rescued, an inquest heard yesterday.

Iain Richard Farrell, who lived in Dorney, near Windsor, was on a coasteering trip to Dorset with company Land & Wave when he got into difficulties.

The 49-year-old fell unconscious in the water off Dancing Ledge.

As reported in the Daily Echo, a huge search and rescue operation involving coastguard teams, RNLI volunteers, paramedics, police and the air ambulance was launched after members of the group began shouting for help at around 3.30pm on Sunday.

An inquest into Mr Farrell’s death was opened and adjourned at Bournemouth Town Hall yesterday afternoon.

Assistant Dorset coroner Brendan Allen heard Mr Farrell, an electrician, was identified at the Holly Tree Lodge mortuary by his wife Amanda.

Coroner’s officer Susan Kay told the inquest: “Mr Farrell was on a coasteering trip with his two sons.

“He got into difficulties in the sea.

“He was taken out of the water unconscious and pronounced dead at the scene.

“The trip organiser administered CPR until paramedics arrived.”

There are no suspicious circumstances, it was heard.

A post-mortem examination took place on May 30, after which a pathologist gave her opinion on the cause of death as drowning.

A full inquest will take place on March 13 next year.

Mr Allen requested statements from Mr Farrell’s GP and family, as well as from the police, ahead of the hearing.

Following Mr Farrell’s death, representatives for Land & Wave said: “Despite being quickly rescued from the sea by our instructor and given emergency first aid on the shore, very sadly [the casualty] could not be resuscitated.”

They added: “The safety and well-being of customers has always been our primary concern and we are confident staff did everything they could.”