The inquest into the death of Highbridge man Dean Tate has this week concluded that he died in an accidental drowning after a night out in Burnham-On-Sea.
The inquest in Taunton on Tuesday (October 9th) heard that 40-year old Mr Tate was reported missing on Saturday February 24th 2018 after failing to return home from a night out with his brother, Darren Tate.
Darren said that he’d finished work at 3.30pm on the Friday afternoon and had invited Dean to go for a drink. He initially declined but when Dean later sent a follow-up text to his brother they arranged to meet at 6.30pm.
They walked into Burnham-On-Sea and visited the Somerset and Dorset pub where they had four to five pints and a shot.
Darren decided to go home as both had work the next morning, but Dean stayed on and played a game of pool and was seen drinking into the early hours of the Saturday at two different places.
Leslie Pope, a doorman at the Old Pier Tavern in Pier Street told the inquest that Dean had arrived at around 10.30pm. He later headed in the direction tof TA8’s Bistro Bar.
Leslie later saw Dean at around 2am as he was walking with his head down and hands in his pockets, staggering on the grass verge.
Harris Beaumont, licensee of TA8s bar in Old Station Approach, said he had thrown him out after Dean was stumbling about and very drunk.
A local person near the Lighthouse pub said she saw Dean in the middle of the road and that he was unstable and seemed confused. She tried asking him for identification in order to help him home, but he repeated her question several times and began swearing.
A huge search took place over two months before Dean’s body was discovered on Friday April 21st by a fisherman on a boat at the western end of Stert Island.
Tattoos, jewellery, bank cards and a mobile phone matched those of Dean’s and dental records confirmed the identification.
Coroner Tony Williams ruled that Mr Tate’s death was accidental as a result of drowning. He said the precise location had not been determined.
Pictured: Top – Dean Tate; Centre – Police on the seafront investigating the disappearance; Above – RNLI, BARB crew and Coastguards searching