A RETIRED farmer born in Rhyl was found dead in the River Conwy last week, an inquest opening heard.

John Kenneth Hughes, 81, of Cwmlanerch, Betws-y-Coed, died on Saturday, September 9.

At the opening of the inquest into his death, held in Ruthin today (September 18), it was heard that Mr Hughes was a regular open-water swimmer in the River Conwy, which adjoined his property.


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He was found that morning about 15 feet from the river bank, and roughly 50 metres from his home address, by a passing paddleboarder.

The paddleboarder, who described the river as “quiet”, “still” and “extremely clear”, noticed a male body lying motionless and face-down in the water.

Emergency services then arrived at the scene and recovered Mr Hughes from the water.

A post-mortem examination, conducted by Dr Muhammad Aslam, provided a provisional cause of death of drowning, contributed to by ischemic and chronic valvular heart disease.

John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales East and Central, adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.