Drowning man resisted attempts to save him

PUBLISHED: 16:07 25 July 2012


A drowning man high on ketamine resisted police attempts to save him and eventually ducked under the water in Regent’s Canal and did not appear, an inquest has heard.

After an hour-long search officers recovered the body of 30-year-old Panayiotis Petrou on April 25 this year, St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday.

Police described his behaviour earlier that evening as like “a child splashing around in a paddling pool”.

Mr Petrou, who was homeless but originally from Harrow, was eventually rescued and taken to University College London Hospital. He was found to be under the influence of ketamine and died in hospital the next day.


The first police officer to arrive the scene said he decided not to jump into the water for fear of disease, infections and dangerous objects under the surface.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said she was satisfied the police had done all they could to rescue the man.

She said: “It was a canal in London of unknown depth with unknown hazards in the water and involved a gentleman who quite clearly was not amenable to being helped out of the water and was under some sort of intoxication.”

She said Mr Petrou died of drowning while under the influence of ketamine.

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