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Photographer Jacob Cockle accidently drowned while filming Hayle whirlpools

By CMChloe  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

Photographer Jacob Cockle accidently drowned while filming Hayle whirlpools.

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A free-spirited Hayle photographer accidently drowned while filming whirlpools a corner has ruled today.

An inquest at Truro Coroner’s Court heard that twenty-eight-year-old Jacob Cockle was sucked into the sluice tunnels at Carnsew Pools where he lost consciousness and died on May 28 2013.

The inquest was told that on the night of his death, Jacob was filming footage of himself with a plastic horse head prop in the vortex of the whirlpool.

Jacob’s neighbour and friend, David Raine, filmed Jacob at South Quay that evening in May as he had done before on many occasions.

Mr Raine said: “He was excited because a whirlpool is at its biggest an hour before high water. He took risks but I wouldn’t say he took risk of much more than a young guy of his age who is excited to do things and loves life.”

It is believed Jacob was using a smaller camera on a pole to film underwater shots of the dangerous tidal phenomenon when he was pulled into the 15ft sluice tunnels.

Mr Raine pulled Jacob from the water and tried to resusitate him until emergency services arrived.

Jacob was taken by helicopter to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro where he was pronounced dead.

Coroner Andrew Cox said Jacob was a capable water man who took considered risk.

He added: “The evidence we have heard is unusually clear and uncontradictory. I am entirely satisfied Jacob went down to the harbour in Hayle with the intention of filming whirlpools.

“There’s no doubt Jacob was capable waterman. There was no doubt he was a risk taker. I accept however that his risks were not spontaneous or impulsive but were considered. Unfortunately that risk came to pass and as a result of being sucked in to the sluice tunnels he became unconscious for some time and he drowned.”

An initial post-mortem could not find definitive internal or external signs to determine the cause of death.

Specialist examination was conducted on Jacob's brain and heart but no underlying health issues were found.

The inquest heard how Jacob had suffered bouts of anxiety and had been on medication in the past.

A toxicology report found traces of Ketamine in his system, which Mr Cox said could possibly have had an effect on his cognitive reactions, but it could not be determined for sure.

Pathologist, Dr Rolf Hohle, said upon hearing witness accounts of foaming coming from his airways preceding the incident he was able to record the official cause of death as drowning.

Following the hearing, Jacob's mother, Carolyn Sheard, paid tribute to her popular son.

“In his short lifetime, Jacob lived life to the fullest, he achieved more than some people could only dream about. Unfortunately Jacob saw no danger in it, people or situations. He has been and still is an inspiration to many people to strive for what they believe in.

“Jacob was a free spirit, we as a family miss him more than words can tell but know that his memory will live on. His many artistic talents will bring peace to everyone for the foreseeable future.”

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