AN antiques dealer died ‘doing what he loved’ after he suffered a cardiac event while fishing.

Stewart Carysforth was found in the River Ribble near his Ribchester home after apparently collapsing while moving his spot on the bank.

His disappearance had sparked a police search when his family reported him missing after he failed to turn up for a meal and friends could not contact him.

Blackburn , Hyndburn and Ribble Valley senior coroner Michael Singleton ruled he died of natural causes after collapsing from a heart arrhythmia on the river bank.

The 73-year-old’s son Paul said after the inquest in Clitheroe: “My father died doing what he loved.

“He think he would have taken that as an option rather than being in and out of hospital.”

The inquest heard Mr Carysforth was a ‘confident and experienced fisherman’ who had suffered considerable ill-health. including three bouts of cancer, heart disease and a collapsed lung.

The semi-retired antiques dealer, who had a flat in Sale Wheel House at Salesbury Hall, was found by police divers in the River Ribble on Monday, October 17, last year having been reported missing at 7pm the previous day.

Mr Singleton was told he had failed to turn up for a meal with his family on the Sunday.

Pathologist Dr Deepa Jacob said there was no sign of violence to the body, of a full-scale heart attack or of water in the lungs.

She told Mr Singleton Mr Carysforth had an enlarged heart and the two most likely causes of death were either a cardiac event caused by an irregular heart rhythm or dry drowning caused by the shock of falling into cold water.

Dr Jacob said his fall could have been caused by a slip on the bank or a collapse because of his heart problems.

Mr Singleton concluded Mr Carysforth died of natural causes with a cardiac event short of a full heart attack the likely reason.

His son said: “We are happy with the verdict.

“My father was a keen, experienced and confident fisherman.”