A British tourist was photographed as he drowned at a French beach because his friend was unaware he was being dragged down by the current, an inquest heard.
Faerez Bagna, 27, was posing in the sea off Carras beach in Nice, France, when he “took a step back into a deep trench”.
Southwark Coroner’s Court heard attempts to resuscitate the nightclub manager, who lived in Kensington, west London, were unsuccessful and he died on September 29 last year.
In a statement, Mr Bagna’s friend Ines Castello said he was posing for photographs in the sea when he took a step backwards into an unexpectedly deep trench.
Assistant coroner Phillip Barlow said: “Faerez was on the beach with a young lady called Alice. She was taking pictures of him in the sea, he was waist-deep in the water on the photos.
“According to the French people, he took a step back, unaware there was a deep trench behind him and the current pulled him under.
“Faerez was unable to pull himself back to the surface. The girl was still taking photos and seemingly didn’t notice his struggle until it was too late.”
As Mr Barlow read the statement, Mr Bagna’s mother Jennifer Jones, who was appearing via video-link, became upset and left the room.
After asking whether he should continue, Mr Barlow added: “According to the police report, Faerez was in the water for 15 minutes.
“The ambulance was called and they attempted CPR on site but they were unable to resuscitate him.
“I was told by French Police he had a few sips of beer but there were no red flags on the toxicology report.”
The coroner said Faerez’s GP reports showed he had no underlying health problems as he ruled that the death was accidental.
He said: “I accept the statement, albeit that it is second hand information from Ines Castello, as to the events that happened on September 29, 2019.
“It’s clear from all the information that I have available to me that I am in a position to address the questions I need to address.
“On September 29, Faerez Bagna drowned while swimming on holiday in Nice.
“He slipped, he was pulled under the water by the current. He was in the water for about 15 minutes and suffered a cardiac arrest. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful.
“I’m satisfied that the overall conclusion is one of accidental death.”
Mr Bagna hosted parties at the central London nightclub Forge according to his Instagram page, which features photos of him at its champagne tower events.
Mrs Jones tearfully told the coroner her son was “supportive and honest”.
She said: “He was very giving and a loving person”.
Mr Bagna’s sister Mella Sanders has previously told how the family received the “horrific news” of his death in a text message two weeks after the incident.
She wrote: “On October 13 we received horrific news via text, unsympathetically stating that our brother had drowned in the sea of Nice.
“We later found out that he had died two weeks beforehand on September 29.
“We still don’t know the full story and are piecing together most of it from what we can find online.
“This is absolutely devastating, more so than it needs to be.”