Torpoint factory worker David Lee took his own life after jumping from Torpoint Ferry
A MAN took his own life by jumping off the Torpoint Ferry weighed down with a rucksack full of potatoes, an inquest has heard. David Lee, a factory worker from Torpoint, jumped from the vessel at 1pm on August 15 last year.
The 56-year-old made the journey across the Tamar two and a half times, waiting until no one was around before he jumped into the river, the inquest heard.
In a statement read out by Coroner Ian Arrow, Mr Lee's wife of 25 years, Christine, said: "He got up normally that morning – I had no concerns about him at all. That was the last time I saw him. I had no idea he was in trouble at work. He had been dismissed for smoking in a prohibited place."
The factory worker suffered from chronic alcohol misuse, had heart disease and had been fitted with a cardiac defibrillator.
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Mr Lee was pulled out of the river by the MoD police marine unit around six minutes after he jumped in and was taken to Derriford Hospital, where he passed away three days later.
Detective Constable Sarah Rawlinson was involved in the investigation following Mr Lee's death. She said:"The CCTV from the ferry showed Mr Lee sitting on the top deck. "He travelled from Torpoint to Plymouth, back to Torpoint and then was half way back to Plymouth when he jumped.
"He can be seen to write something and place something down and he waited until there was no one around him.
"He put his rucksack over both shoulders and climbed over the barrier on the upper deck. "He was found to have potatoes in the bag." The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide and said: "He waited for the right time on the ferry when no one was around, going back and forward and seems to have loaded the bag with potatoes.
"I am satisfied that he took his own life."