A RUGBY player died when he plunged into a marina after wrongly believing someone had fallen into the water, an inquest ihas heard.

Owain Jones, 32, of Penarth, leapt into the waters of Penarth Marina after enjoying a meal out and drinks with his partner.

The inquest, held in Pontypridd, heard he shouted: “Babe, babe, babe, you need come here” seconds before he jumped over railings into the water.

The hearing was told Owain called out that “someone was in the water” – but police later found no evidence of anyone else in the water.

Shocked girlfriend Leanne Sylvester ran across the road to see “weak swimmer” Owain struggling in the water.

Leanne said: “I could see that he was struggling and he wasn’t making eye contact.”

Brave Leanne took off her jacket and jumped into Penarth Marina in a bid to save Owain.

She said: “I took another breath and dived down to try and get him. I tried to dive down again but Owain was too far away.

“I was pulled out and I found myself being restrained by someone. I remember the officers telling me that Owain was out of the water.”

The inquest heard Owain was not a strong swimmer and was unable to float.

Owain was rushed to University Hospital of Wales but was pronounced dead in the early hours of October 13 last year.

Dad Robin Jones got a call from Leanne who was “deeply distressed.”

Witness Kevin Fairlie was on his boat when he heard “loud voices” and saw Owain jump.

He said: “I stopped to look as they were quite loud and I realised they were drunk rather than anything else.

“They then parted and it appeared something was said as the male bolted across the road to the railings around the key.

“He then leaped over the railings and leaped into the water.”

Mr Fairlie said he heard Leanne shouting: “Tread water, tread water.”

He said: “I heard another splash and realised the female had gone in as well.”

The inquest heard Owain and Leanne had been for steak and lobster at a restaurant before moving onto Pier 64 bar owned by soccer player Craig Bellamy for drinks.

The pair had been together for six-and-a-half years and got engaged while travelling the world on a trip of a lifetime.

Toxicology reports showed Owain’s alcohol levels were 181mg per 100 ml of blood. The drink drive limit is 80.

No drugs were found in the self-employed contractor’s system. Owain played scrum half for the Cardiff Saracens rugby club.

His medical cause of death was drowning with catastrophic hypoxic oedema and cardiac failure.

Coroner Graeme Hughes recorded a conclusion of misadventure at the inquest in Pontypridd.

He said: “Owain did act deliberately. He didn’t fall into the marina accidentally.

“It was a deliberate act that sadly and tragically went wrong and led directly to Owain’s death.”