A UK-based Indian-born financial expert drowned after going overboard in a prank gone wrong on a singles river cruise he organized for his friend in Portugal, has learned a London court. Nishanthan Gnanathas, who witnessed his friend’s wedding, banged his head against the railing when he was pushed from a yacht down the Tagus River in Lisbon as part of a prank in July this year.
“I accept the cause of death as immersion in water. My final conclusion is that I am entirely convinced that it was a mishap,” Coroner Fiona Wilcox said Wednesday at a hearing in ‘investigation into his death at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Wednesday.
“I am convinced on the balance of probabilities that everything that happened was very quick and that Nish suffered some kind of physical shock and suffered respiratory arrest and could not breathe because of the water. what happened must have been very brutal and very sudden. He was a fit young man and had been able to jump off the pier under similar circumstances the day before, “she said.
According to ‘The Sun’, the 31-year-old was among a group of 13 friends on the festive cruise in July to celebrate Youseff Ismail’s wedding the year before.
âNish was my best man. He organized the trip to Portugal as a bachelorette party. Nish ended up in the water and hit his head on the way in. Everyone was like ‘oooh’ . I jumped in, Andre too, but we couldn’t find him. I think we were on our first beer, “Ismail told the court.
âWe half expected him to screw up to be honest with you,â he said.
Andre van Eck, the friend who pushed the victim into the water, told the court: “We heckled all the time. We had no intention of hurting anyone.”
Explaining why Gnanathas had to be thrown overboard first, Van Eck said, “He was the best man. When we went to the restaurant and the food was late, it was Nish’s fault.”
Gnanathas’ family had to wait six days before his body was found in the water after a major sea and air search involving police boats and a helicopter.
Lisbon Maritime Police Chief Malaquais Dominguez said at the time: âI’m convinced it was a stupid joke between friends. He was pushed and he went too far. He disappeared into the water. the rest of their lives and that it was an accident and there was absolutely no intention of harming the missing man. ”