THE BODY of a Japanese tourist was found off the coast of Barrow after intentionally jumping from a ferry to his death, an inquest has heard. 

Hajime Samejima, from Tokyo, was found dead 2.25 kilometres from the Walney coast at around 3pm on June 28, 2023 by offshore wind-farm technicians who were returning to Barrow on a boat after completing their shift. 

A camera found in Mr Samejima’s rucksack was recovered that yielded information that helped police piece together the events leading to the 51-year-old's death. 

Pictures recovered from the camera’s SD card, timestamped from June 20 until June 22, showed the interior of an Avanti West Coast Train, followed by various locations in Liverpool related to The Beatles, including the Cavern Club, Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane and Liverpool Beatles Museum. 

Answering Assistant Coroner for Cumbria, Ms Margaret Taylor asked Mr Samejima’s wife, speaking through a translator at Cockermouth Coroner’s Court, if her husband was a fan of The Beatles. 

She replied: “Very, very much, yes”. 

Subsequent pictures from the evening of June 20 showed a Stena Line sign at Birkenhead harbour, followed by the interior of a ferry. 

Pictures dated June 21 then show various sightseeing locations around Belfast, the last of which is of the Belfast Seahorse statue near Belfast Harbour. 

Police investigations revealed that Mr Samejima boarded the Stena Line Edda ferry as a foot passenger, leaving Belfast for Liverpool at 10.30pm. 

CCTV clips from the vessel from 4.24am show Mr Samejima walking up to the deck ten, the highest accessible to passengers.  

According to a police statement submitted to the Coroner’s court in Cockermouth, at 4.54am, Mr Samejima, alone the whole time, ‘pulled himself over the rail on deck ten and pulled himself into the sea deliberately and of his own accord’. 

He was recovered by the wind farm vessel off Walney six days later. 

A toxicology report showed therapeutic levels of prescribed medication, and evidence that he had taken sleeping pills in the hours before his death, along with a level of alcohol that was ‘not excessive’. 

A postmortem revealed that Mr Samejima, ‘appeared to have been healthy’, but had sustained several broken ribs, and that his lungs were filled with water, consistent with drowning. 

Ms Taylor concluded: “Because of what is seen on the CCTV, it is likely that he knew that in jumping down the very high boat into the water, he would die.  

“I’m very sorry because I cannot tell you why. 

“All I know is he leaves you and his son, his parents, who I am sure will miss him very much.” 

Ms Taylor concluded that Mr Samejima died from drowning, and by suicide. 

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