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Ashford security guard Yugal Limbu died after falling into River Stour in Victoria Park

A security guard died after falling into a river while on his way home from a night out, an inquest has heard.

Yugal Limbu suffered a cardiac arrest after entering the water of the River Stour in Ashford via a gap in the riverside barrier.

Yugal Limbu, 33, was reported missing by his family, sparking a huge search involving the police helicopter
Yugal Limbu, 33, was reported missing by his family, sparking a huge search involving the police helicopter

His tragic death has led the coroner to consider ordering additional safety measures along the riverbank in Victoria Park.

The 33-year-old, of Oak Tree Road, South Ashford, was last seen drinking at the Gurkha Villa in Ashford's town centre on the evening of Friday, March 6, into the early hours of Saturday.

After he was reported missing by his family, an extensive search and rescue operation was launched in the town.

A police helicopter was spotted and the park was cordoned off by police as the search went on.

Tragically, Mr Limbu was found in the river near Bowens Field at about 4.30pm Monday, March 9.

The bridge in Victoria Park where Mr Limbu is believed to have fallen into the water
The bridge in Victoria Park where Mr Limbu is believed to have fallen into the water

The inquest held yesterday at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone heard he had been in good spirits on the night he was last seen, drinking whisky with friends and one of his cousins.

Investigating officer DS Kirsty Bricknell said CCTV footage showed the Hong-Kong born man walking on his own, on what was his normal route home from the town centre.

The footage also showed Mr Limbu walking unsteadily, which led DS Bricknell to fear he might have fallen into the river.

A subsequent toxicology report found his blood alcohol level was 171 milligrams – more than twice the legal driving limit.

While there is no CCTV footage of the area in which he entered the river, DS Bricknell said there is a gap in the fence near a footbridge on the route he would have taken.

Officers taped off the entrances to Victoria Park after Mr Limbu's body was found. Picture: Charlie Harman
Officers taped off the entrances to Victoria Park after Mr Limbu's body was found. Picture: Charlie Harman

She said: "While our body-cam footage does not show what it would look like at night, it does not seem to be well lit and I do believe that is where he tragically fell in."

Assistant coroner Sonia Hayes requested the police footage of the gap in question and will consider it for a Regulation 28 order.

The order would mean additional safety measures would be put in place to prevent any further loss of life.

Mr Limbu's cause of death was given as submersion as a post-mortem examination showed he was likely to have suffered cardiac arrest shortly after entering the water, rather than drowning.

Ms Hayes said: "On the balance of probability I do find that as Yugal was not in any financial difficulty and was, to everyone around him, a very happy man, he did not intend to end his own life.

There is a gap in the fencing on both sides of this footbridge leading to Victoria Park
There is a gap in the fencing on both sides of this footbridge leading to Victoria Park
Flowers at the scene after Mr Limbu's body was found. Picture: Andy Clark
Flowers at the scene after Mr Limbu's body was found. Picture: Andy Clark

"There was also no evidence of third party involvement, and, given his blood alcohol levels, I am satisfied with the evidence given to me this death was an accident.

"I pass on my deepest condolences to the family in this tragic time, and will consider the police footage of this gap in the barrier for a Regulation 28 order."

Mr Limbu – who had aspirations of joining the British Army – arrived in England with his parents in 2016 and worked as a town centre security guard.

Police believe Mr Limbu tragically fell into the river via a gap in the fencing
Police believe Mr Limbu tragically fell into the river via a gap in the fencing
Police at the scene after Mr Limbu's body was found. Picture: Charlie Harman
Police at the scene after Mr Limbu's body was found. Picture: Charlie Harman

His family described him as being “a bright and kind man, who had the ambition to make something of himself”.

Mr Limbu leaves behind his mother and father, a brother who lives in Nepal and a sister, currently based in Hong Kong.

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