THIS WEEK IN 1987: Diver drowned while twice over the limit

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A Paulsgrove man died in a Southsea diving tragedy after a drinking session, a Portsmouth inquest heard.

A post-mortem examination on Sean McGarry found that he had a blood alcohol level of 152 milligrams – nearly double the drink-driving limit.

Deputy Portsmouth coroner James Kenroy was told the drinking may have caused Mr McGarry to become ‘disorientated’ and panic-stricken when he realised the air was running out in his cylinder.

The body of Mr McGarry, 22, a diver-warehouseman, was recovered about 20 metres from the shore near South Parade Pier.

A major search involving a search and rescue helicopter and coastguards failed to find him after three hours but he was found when the search resumed the following day.