A TEENAGER who moved from Sri Lanka to Newport drowned after jumping into a river, an inquest heard.
The body of Vithuran Sathiyaseelan, 17, was discovered by a police diving team in water at Afon Lwyd in Caerleon at 8.50pm onMay 29.
Yesterday, deputy Gwent coroner Wendy James ruled that Mr Sathiyaseelan had died accidentally and issued a warning to the public about the dangers of swimming in rivers.
The inquest, at Gwent Coroner’s Court, Newport, heard a statement from Mr Sathiyaseelan’s uncle Iyakkudy Sajantha, who said the teenager moved from Sri Lanka in 2011 to study fashion and design at the University of Wales, Newport.
The court heard statements from friends of Mr Sathiyaseelan who said that on May 29 Mr Sathiyaseelan, who lived at Maindee Parade, had gone to the Afon Lwyd, with Ramandeep Bhambra and Kondwani Moraef.
When they arrived at the river they saw some younger children, aged around 14, swimming in the area.
Miss Bhambra clambered down some rocks to get into the water and said Mr Sathiyaseelan was asking the children if the river was deep which they said it was.
Mr Sathiyaseelan, who said he could swim, then jumped in and began bobbing up and down in the water.
She said he went under the water about three times and would then appear above the water but she thought he was joking around.
When Mr Sathiyaseelan didn’t come back up she thought he had gone around a corner but when the friends realised he was in danger they called 999.
A diving team found the body at 8.50pm.
A post mortem confirmed the cause of death was asphyxia and drowning.
Ms James said: “There are often hidden dangers in these areas. Swimming should be avoided at all costs because like Vithuran Sathiyaseelan you may end up paying the ultimate price.”