TRIBUTES have been paid to a loving father-of-two who died when he was swept out to sea in a tragic accident.
The inquest of Kenneth McFarlane was held at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court.
The court heard that the 28-year-old had gone out for a swim after drinking whisky, only to be overcome by the sea. His body was found by a jogger the next morning on June 16, on the mudflats off the beach in Warsash.
Coroner David Horsley ruled his death as accidental after hearing evidence from the police, a pathologist, Kenneth’s mother Ellen and his wife Laurika.
Also at the inquest was Kenneth’s twin brother Ross, who said that as the family had lived in Pretoria, South Africa until they were seven, swimming in the sea was ‘second nature’.
He said: ‘He was very fit, he cycled 14 miles every day and played football. He was confident in the water as we had an outdoors upbringing.’
Ross said the pair had occasionally fought, but that was normal for siblings, and that Kenneth, from Sarisbury Green, had been upset by an incident at the Boomtown Music Festival where he was made to leave for having a bottle of whisky with him.
Laurika said Kenneth, a sailmaker for One Sails in Hamble Marina, had gone out to watch the cricket on the Strawberry Fields after arguing with Ross on the phone.
She said: ‘I was waiting for him to come back to have dinner. He didn’t say a time.
‘He said his phone battery was low and it was going to run out, but that he would be back to take the girls to school the next day.
‘Kenneth always used to say that no matter what, he would always be there. That he would never leave us.’
Mr Horsley said the death was a ‘tragic accident’.
Ellen paid tribute to her son after the ruling. She said: ‘He was the most amazing father and husband, he had such an infectious smile. He tried to always be upbeat and look on the bright side.
‘We all miss him so much because he was such a good person. We miss those happy times with him.
‘As it was such a tragic accident I know I could not have done anything to prevent this happening. It just feels so unjust that a beautiful soul got taken so early.’
Kenneth, a former pupil of Nightingale primary in Eastleigh and Thornden in Chandlers Ford, leaves two children – Lana, three, and Kelly, eight.