FISHING at Somerset’s famous pike mecca Chew Valley Lake had to be closed for two days when an elderly trout angler fell into the water and drowned while wading.
There was a Police operation after emergency services were alerted that an angler had gone under the water and not resurfaced.
After an extensive search, the man’s body was pulled from Chew Valley Lake 24 hours later.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “The man – believed to be in his 80s – is thought to have fallen while fishing in the lake.
“The Police underwater search team carried out searches in the lake and the following day at about 11.15 am discovered the body.
“The matter has been referred to the coroner as a sudden death, non-suspicious,” he added.
Somerset Coroner’s Office confirmed that an inquest would be opened after which further details will be released.
The angler, who hasn’t been named, was wading off Chew Valley Lake’s Nunnery Point which is a rocky area. After the tragedy, that section was closed for fishing.
The venue’s fisheries team would only say in this Facebook statement: “We are not commenting as all statements must be managed by the Police press team.
“We politely request that customers refrain from commenting at the present time on this post.”
But owners Bristol Water told Angler’s Mail: “This was a very sad day and the thoughts of everyone at Bristol Water are with the friends and family of the gentleman.
“Our local lakeside team assisted the emergency response and police operation at the lake and we will continue to assist in any way with further investigations.
“We take safety very seriously and we have significant procedures in place. We await the details of the investigation once they are available.
“The closure of Nunnery for bank fishing is expected to be temporary and we hope to reopen this stretch of bank soon.
“We have a policy clearly displayed of wading only being allowed up to thigh level,” he added.
Adam Grinsell, media manager for the Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents, commented: “The best advice for any angler is to always wear a suitable life jacket.
“If you are in deeper water (such as that at your shin or above) then wearing correct buoyancy is advisable.”
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