AN inquest into the death of a Somerset marine heard he had been submerged in the water for "roughly five minutes" during a training exercise.

The inquest for Ethan Jones, 20, from Radstock, was opened and adjourned today (Thursday, January 30).

The ambulance service previously confirmed it was called at about 10pm on Tuesday, January 21, after it was reported a person had gone under the water at Tregantle Beach.

The inquest heard that Rct Jones was born on September 11, 1999 in Bath and lived in Westfield, Radstock, Somerset.

He had been involved in an amphibious training exercise on January 21 and as he exited a landing craft, was "submerged in sea water, for roughly five minutes".

He was pronounced dead on January 24.

The opening statement read out by the coroner's officer, said: "The circumstances of the death are that Ethan was a Royal Marines Commando recruit, on January 21, Ethan was out on an amphibious training exercise, he exited a landing craft and was submerged in sea water, for roughly five minutes.

"Despite intervention, CT scan showed hypoxic brain injury and EEG showed minimal brain activity. Ethan sadly passed away on January 24, 2020."

The statement notes how on the present evidence the medical cause of death has been ascertained as hypoxic encephalopathy and drowning.

Coroner Ian Arrow offered his condolences to Rct Jones' family.

A full inquest will be held later this year.

The military said the cause of death following the incident at the beach in Cornwall was still under investigation and his family had requested privacy.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “We can confirm the Royal Marine who was injured in an incident two weeks ago and later died was Royal Marine Recruit Ethan Jones.

“The thoughts and sympathies of the Naval Service are with the family and friends of Recruit Jones.

“The incident is still under investigation, therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further."

He was also described by the MOD in a statement as “a popular character”.

He joined the Royal Marines on May 27 to start 32 weeks of military training.

In a statement the MOD said: “Composed, astute and with an unfailing sense of humour, Ethan was a popular character – an embodiment of the Corps Values of excellence, integrity, self-discipline and humility; not only a formidable soldier, but an exemplary citizen too.”

Ethan’s family added in the statement: “Ethan died fulfilling his dream and doing something he loved.

“Joining the Royal Marine was something Ethan had wanted to do for as long as we can remember.

“He wanted to join the best of the best and challenge himself. Ethan loved the outdoor lifestyle and was looking forward to serving as a Marine on operations around the world.

“We are very proud of all that he achieved.”

Section Commander within 282 Troop Corporal Dave Wright said Ethan held a “special position” in the troop.

He recalled one exercise in which Ethan put his equipment down at the top of a hill and went back down to help another recruit.

Corp Wright said: “He is a true loss to the Royal Marines as he would have inevitably achieved much within his career.

“Recruit Jones was the embodiment of what a Commando should be.”