A 24-year-old rugby player from Bucks drowned in a horror accident at a popular beauty spot in Australia.

Charles Williams, who was known as Charlie, died on April 10 in an accident at Behana Gorge, in Cairns, Queensland, while he was living in Australia on a work visa.

A rugby player for Bicester RUFC, Mr Williams, from Aylesbury, died while he was swimming with a group of friends at the popular beauty spot.

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An inquest into his death was held at Beaconsfield Coroners Court today (Thursday).

At the inquest, assistant coroner for Buckinghamshire Alison McCormick read a report from a coroner in Australia.

It said: “On April 10, Charlie was enjoying time with companions he had met at a hostel. They were swimming and jumping in the waterfalls at Behana Gorge, a place of great natural beauty.

Charlie and a group of three to five males were jumping off the rocks together. Charlie jumped first with the others following and landing on top of him.

“When they came to the surface, they noticed he was not with them.”

The court heard that the water was dark and cold, and it took about five minutes for the group to find Charlie, who was unresponsive. Some of them stayed and started doing CPR, while others ran off to get the emergency services.

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Paramedics arrived and tried to resuscitate Charlie, but he was pronounced dead on the scene.

The court heard how Charlie had bruising on the top of his head, raising the possibility that one of his friends had landed on top of him in the water, potentially causing him to lose consciousness.

Reading from a report from an Australian police officer who investigated the incident, Ms McCormick said: “Witnesses said there were three to five males jumping off the rocks into the water.

“At one point one of the males landed on top of the deceased, possibly knocking him unconscious and pushing him down.

“There were no suspicious circumstances.”

The inquest also heard how in the post-mortem examination, traces of alcohol and cannabis were found in his system. However, Charlie’s blood alcohol level was below the drink-drive limit, and the amount of cannabis was extremely small.

Ms McCormick added that there was “no evidence” that alcohol or cannabis had contributed to Charlie’s death.

Reaching her conclusion, Ms McCormick said: “It’s not clear why or how Charlie came to drown on what should have been a fun-filled afternoon of adventure in a beautiful, natural place.

“Charlie’s death was a tragic accident and was even more tragic for Charlie’s family because it happened so far away from home.”

Ms McCormick concluded that Charlie died of accidental drowning at Behana Gorge, Queensland, on April 10.