Julian Renouf, 37, died in April last year during a ‘tragic accident’ after fishing vessel overturned, trapping him underneath.

Nothing more could have been done to avoid the death of a man who drowned when a boat capsized in the Taw and Torridge Estuary, a coroner has concluded.

Julian James Renouf, 37, from Westward Ho! died on a fishing trip with his school friend Luke Kidstone and their two dogs on April 18, 2014.

Mr Kidstone, who owned the 13ft boat Rosie, dropped the anchor from the stern of the boat, but the strong, outgoing spring tide saw it suddenly fill with water and 'within two seconds' the boat capsized, said Mr Kidstone.

He said: "I think I climbed around as it span and I remember thinking, Julian will come up in a second. But he didn't."

Nearby pensioner Christopher Norman, from Bickington, was fishing on his own boat when he noticed the vessel had capsized.

He managed to pull Mr Kidstone, who wasn't wearing a lifejacket, out of the estuary.

But to his shock, Mr Norman said: "I put a lifejacket on him and immediately he jumped back in the water; shouting 'my mate'."

Together the pair managed to upright the boat and Mr Renouf, who was unconscious, appeared from underneath.

Despite the 'heroic efforts' of Mr Norman, and later the RNLI crew who quickly arrived, paramedics and RAF Sea King, he could not be saved.

The inquest heard Mr Renouf, who was described as 'a good swimmer', had suffered a head injury when the boat capsized which had 'most likely' rendered him unconscious.

He was also two-and-a-half times the drink drive limit for alcohol.

Deputy coroner John Tomalin said : "If he was unconscious that isn't really going to make a huge different in my opinion.

"It started out to be an enjoyable trip - something they had done several times before.

"But none of them expected it to end in this unforeseen tragedy.

"Clearly Mr Renouf was well liked by friends and well supported by family who cared about him greatly."

Mr Tomalin recorded a verdict of accidental death.