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A coroner has said that he is not satisfied that a 15-year-old boy who drowned in the River Trent after drinking vodka took his own life.
Oliwier Kaczmarowski’s body was found in the river in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, on May 26 after it is believed he entered the water at around 9pm on May 22.
An inquest in Lincoln on Thursday heard that Oliwier had shared a bottle of vodka with a friend in the hours before he entered the water, with later tests finding he was almost twice the legal drink-drive limit.
Coroner Paul Smith said that while conclusions of suicide and accidental death were “plausible to a degree”, he said they were “not proven to the required standard”, with there being no “direct evidence” as to how Oliwier entered the river.
The evidence does not disclose the precise circumstances of his entering the water, nor his state of mind at the time
Recording a narrative conclusion, he said: “Oliwier Kaczmarowski died on May 26 2023 from drowning.
“He entered the River Trent during the evening of May 22 whilst in drink.
“The evidence does not disclose the precise circumstances of his entering the water, nor his state of mind at the time.”
The coroner said he was “not satisfied” that Oliwier had entered the water deliberately, or with the intention of taking his own life, adding there was “no direct evidence” as to how he came to be in the river.
Oliwier was seen on CCTV in Gainsborough on May 22 with a friend, with whom he bought a bottle of vodka and mixers, and visited a local cafe.
The pair were later seen crossing a bridge and sitting on a bank of the River Trent, with his friend then leaving at about 8pm.
Oliwier had taken his shirt off due to the heat, the inquest heard, with the clothing recovered from the river bank while police searched for him after his mother raised the alarm that evening.
His body was discovered by police divers at around 1.20pm on May 26, with a later post-mortem examination giving the medical cause of death as drowning.
Toxicology tests found he had a reading of 144 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, almost double the legal drink-drive limit of 80mg.
The inquest, attended by Oliwier’s mother, heard that he was born in Poland and moved to the UK shortly after his birth.
He was described by friends as “a nice lad”, “very relatable” and “easy-going”.
His family said in a statement released by police in June that he was “incredibly protective” and “a great friend”, adding: “We will treasure those memories we had with him.”
In his statement to the coroner, Detective Sergeant Tim Sykes, of Lincolnshire Police, noted that Oliwier was “struggling with his mental health on occasion” due to the death of his father in 2018 and the recent breakdown of a relationship, with the coroner also referencing the pressure of upcoming GCSE exams.
I have no doubt at all that had any of Oliwier’s friends had concerns about him that night, he would not have been left alone in the circumstances that he was
However, friends had supported him when needed, Mr Sykes said, with his school noting no concerns.
Mr Smith said: “I have no doubt at all that had any of Oliwier’s friends had concerns about him that night, he would not have been left alone in the circumstances that he was.”
Closing the hearing, Mr Smith said to Oliwier’s mother: “There is nothing that I can say that can take the hurt away.
“You have my own personal sympathies in relation to your loss and I hope you and your family recover from this tragedy.”