KEY mistakes that played a role in the death of a disabled sailor have been acted on and resolved, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Hague died after the adapted boat he was sailing in on Windermere capsized after being knocked by a heavy gust of wind.

The former police officer was enjoying a group sail at Blackwell Sailing Club when he was caught under the boat for around 20 minutes at around midday on June 12 2019.

The 57-year-old died despite the efforts of club volunteers , lake wardens and emergency services to resuscitate him, the hearing at Cockermouth Coroner’s Court was told.

The inquest heard that Mr Hague, who lived in Heversham near Milnthorpe, was a key member of the Barrow and District Disability Association.

He was described by family and friends as ‘fun loving’ and ‘generous’, funding a wheelchair for a young disabled child.

Originally from Rotherham, Mr Hague was married twice and was forced to use a wheelchair after being involved a road traffic collision in North Yorkshire in 1996.

The inquest heard that Mr Hague’s RS yacht had capsized on Windermere, with club members and safety crew unable to right the boat and take him to safety for around 20 minutes.

An official report into the incident found that the boat’s hull had inverted.

Blackwell manager David Hall said the club was not aware of a locking strap on the boat and a brief owner’s manual had not included a need for it to be secured.

Mr Hague had become trapped under the boat unable to right it with the keel retracted.

Mr Hall said the centre had gone ‘above and beyond’ in implementing the recommendations of the report.

The hearing was told manufacturers RS had also made changes to the boat.

Coroner Dr Nicholas Shaw ruled that Mr Hague died from immersion in water and recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure.

He said: “I’ve heard that despite a devastating disability Stephen received he was able to enjoy as active a life as he possibly could’ve done.

“It’s clear sailing and the sailing club was a particular passion of his.

“I can image that sailing in a fast, small boat was something he would enjoy.

“The keel was not secured down and something like this hadn’t happened before at the club.

“They were not aware of it being a risk and RS didn’t seem to acknowledge this problem in the owner’s manual.

“Instructions could be found but you had to look for them.

“When I looked at this case what struck me was I thought the recommendation that the keel be locked would be on the front page.

“I’m pleased to hear that these recommendations have been acted on.

“I’m sure the last thing Stephen would’ve wanted was for harm or penalty to come to the club which he clearly loved and supported.

“I’m sure Stephen will not be forgotten by the sailing club.

“It’s a mistake that has happened and people learn and move on and that’s the way it should be.”