A Russian sea captain may have died in his cargo ship cabin at a small Gloucestershire port because he feared sailing home in 'horrendous' storms, a coroner has said.
Alexandera Budishchev, 53, from St Petersburg, and his crew of 11, had endured a nightmare voyage across the Atlantic to Sharpness docks, at New Year, an inquest was told.
They docked on New Years' Day and were waiting for their cargo to be unloaded on January 6, but on the morning of January 5, the skipper was found dead in the shower area of his cabin.
He left no note and there was no known motive for him to kill himself except that he had been unhappy about the voyage and was concerned about the return journey, the inquest was told.
“They had obviously come through some horrendous weather to come to Sharpness at that date,” said acting Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley.
“After removal of their cargo they were then to sail into the teeth of the expected storms and we can only assume that was the cause of his concern and trepidation.
“He was said to be upset at the prospect of setting sail again.”
He was found hanged but the coroner said he could not be absolutely certain about the captain's intentions so he had to record an open conclusion rather than suicide.
The inquest heard he was captain of the cargo ship 'Baltiyskiy 109', to which police were called on Jan 5, when chief mate Vladimir Revnikov found his skipper dead.
Recording his conclusion, the coroner said: “The bad weather over this period was particularly severe and he would have had to come through it with his crew in what was not a particularly large vessel. I anticipate he was not looking forward to the outward journey.”