Bucks nights are usually pretty loose affairs, but one in Portugal featuring a group of UK men wound up ending in tragedy when the Best Man was tossed overboard from the yacht the group was travelling on, hitting his head on a balustrade and never resurfacing, an inquest into the death has heard in London earlier today.

Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox at the Westminster Coroner’s Court heard how a seemingly innocent prank tragically took the life of 31-year-old Nishanthan Gnanathas, the best man at mate Youssef Ismail‘s wedding a year prior. The belated bucks night was being held as part of a larger wedding anniversary holiday for family and friends.

“I got married about a year earlier, but we were doing a one-year anniversary party for friends and family, because they weren’t there. Nish was my best man. He organised the trip to go to Portugal as a stag do,” Ismail stated.

The group was aboard a yacht travelling on the River Targus in Lisbon, when Gnanathas was pushed overboard by Andre van Eck in what Dr Wilcox ruled as being “misadventure.”

van Eck gave evidence at the hearing, stating that he had asked the captain of the boat – who was not a member of the party – when a good time would be to push somebody over, with the intention being that the entire party would end up in the water shortly thereafter. An act the captain agreed to once the boat had been pulled to a complete stop.

“I went to see the captain and said ‘look, somebody needs to go overboard. Is it all right if I chuck the best man over?’”

“I picked him up and threw him over. I think he grabbed one of the rails, swung back on himself and hit the side of the boat.

“I tried but to no avail. I swam underneath the boat, but we couldn’t find him.”

van Eck explained that before he was thrown over, Ismail had gone over and removed Gnanathas’ phone from his pocket. As he stepped down from the stand, van Eck turned to Gnanathas’ family and tearfully apologised.

Gnanathas’ body was not found immediately after entering the water, and his family had to endure an agonising six-day wait before it could be found and retrieved from the river.

Forensic pathologists who conducted a post-mortem on Gnanathas found no evidence of violence or injury, theorising that a slight head injury could have occurred during the fall, rendering him unconscious and leading to respiratory failure after he hit the water.

Dr Wilcox concluded the incident was nothing more than a tragic accident.

“This was an absolutely tragic accident that could not have been reasonably anticipated. It was just horseplay that went tragically wrong.”

None of the 13 other men on board the yacht will face charges over the incident.

Source: The Sun.

Photo: Facebook.