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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 17:16 GMT
Boy's reservoir drowning accident
Reuben Morgan
Tributes to Reuben spoke of his love of outdoor activities
An accidental death verdict has been recorded on a teenager who got into difficulties and drowned while swimming in a reservoir.

The Brecon hearing was told that Reuben Coleridge Morgan, 15, from Cefn Coed near Merthyr Tydfil, went missing while swimming in June 2006.

They had decided to try to swim across Pontsticill reservoir near the Brecon Beacons but Reuben did not make it.

His body was recovered after a search lasting two days.

Reuben was one of 11 youngsters - mostly young players from Merthyr rugby club - who were camping for the weekend alongside the reservoir.

He had gone swimming with three friends.

The alarm was raised at around 1400 BST on the Saturday when Reuben went under the water and failed to reappear.

Reuben...would never have understood why he shouldn't have lived his life and tried to do something like this
David Coleridge Morgan, father

Kyle Thomas, a friend of the teenager, told the inquest: "We had reached the middle of the lake when we realised Reuben was falling behind.

"We turned back to help him but he panicked and was pulling us under.

"We eventually realised we had to leave him or it would have been four people going down not just one.

"We kept looking back and saw him go under. The fourth time we looked back he was gone."

Raise the alarm

Fisherman Philip Fear, who witnessed the incident from the dam wall, told the inquest: "I heard them say, let's swim to the other side. I thought that was crazy - the water was deep and cold.

"They were about three quarters of the way over when I saw one boy struggling.

"I saw him going down once; I saw him going down again while the other boys tried to go back to him."

Mr Fear said the third time he went down, he did not come back up.

He then ran to a farm to raise the alarm because there was no mobile signal around the water.

The Powys coroner Geraint Williams did not criticise the boys for going out on the reservoir because he said we already lived in too much of a "nanny state".

Outside the inquest David Coleridge Morgan paid tribute to his son, a pupil at Cyfarthfa High School in Merthyr Tydfil.

He said: "Reuben was a strong character, he would never have understood why he shouldn't have lived his life and tried to do something like this.

"I never realised how many friends and associates he had. His death has really affected Merthyr Tydfil."


SEE ALSO
Body of boy is found in reservoir
19 Jun 06 |  South East Wales

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