Published: 17:39, 22 February 2021
| Updated: 21:25, 22 February 2021
An asylum seeker drowned after wading into the sea on the day his brother had arrived in the UK.
Omar Ezildin Ali was seen struggling in the water and shouting for help at Dover Harbour.
Search crews at the scene
It is thought he was overcome by currents, an inquest heard today.
A coroner was told that Mr Ali had come all the way from Wales.
And on the day he died his brother had been intercepted trying to enter the UK by boat at Dover and detained.
Yet Mr Ali was not found to have a mobile phone with him that day to contact his brother.
Mr Ali, 24, had mental health issues but coroner Katrina Hepburn did not believe his death was suicide and gave a conclusion of misadventure.
Such a verdict means a deceased person may have carried out an act without intending to die.
Miss Hepburn, area coroner for central and south east Kent, said: "Why he entered the water is difficult for me to say.
"I have to consider what his intention was to travel to Dover. I am not satisfied that he intended to take his own life.
"It is possible he wanted to be picked up from the sea as an asylum seeker to be reunited with his brother but there was no evidence he intended to do that.
"But whatever the reason he had to enter the water it had tragic consequences."
The inquest, at County Hall in Maidstone, heard Mr Ali died after going into the sea at the harbour on August 20 last year.
Onlookers on the beach had seen him go in and then struggle in the water and shout for help.
Det Sgt Darren Manktelow, by live video evidence, told the court they tried to rescue him with buoyancy aids.
One person went into the water to save Mr Ali but nobody could get to him.
Mr Ali disappeared under the surface and a massive air and sea search was launched for him.
Derek Cook, of HM Coastguard, said in written evidence that coastguards had been told by police at exactly 11.41am.
A helicopter and vessel search supported by the RNLI, was launched but stood down by 5.04pm when there was no trace of Mr Ali.
'Why he entered the water is difficult for me to say." Coroner Katrina Hepburn
The inquest heard that at 6.15pm a 17-year-old passer-by found his body washed up.
Paramedics were called but pronounced Mr Ali dead at the scene at 6.57pm.
His cause of death was later confirmed as drowning.
He had gone into the sea fully clothed except for shoes and socks, which were left behind in a rucksack.
The bag, plus a wallet and documentation identifying him, were later recovered but no mobile phone.
Mr Ali, from Sudan, entered the UK in June 2016 illegally in the back of a lorry and had been living in Cardiff.
Two of his asylum applications had been rejected, but he had remained optimistic as his case was due to be reviewed that September.
He had fled his country after being involved in a demonstration against his government, the inquest heard.
In Wales he was receiving treatment for mental health conditions.