A SOUTHAMPTON climber died of hypothermia after plunging into deep water from a cliff, an inquest heard.

Medical student Liam Day succumbed to the cold while taking part in Deep Water Solo Climbing in Purbeck in Dorset in June, the hearing was told.

The Bournemouth inquest heard the sea was just 12C when the accident took place.

Deep Water Solo Climbing, a relatively new sport, involves the climber descending the cliff on a rope but then climbing back up without it.

Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne was told. the idea is that if the climber falls, he would fall into water rather than on to rocks.

But the inquest heard he was unable to survive in the sea, which is colder in June than in October.

Liam, 26, a student at Southampton University, was missing for 13 days before his body was recovered from the sea.

Fisherman Jonathan Lander told how he spotted him as he worked at 12.30pm on June 28.

The alarm was first raised after Liam failed to return to his Southampton home following a day spent in Purbeck on June 15.

His worried girlfriend, Emily Brown, urged friends and family to share his picture as rescue teams scoured the Dorset coast.

Dorset Police joined HM Coastguard and Dorset Search and Rescue Service to search throughout the night.

The following morning they were joined by the NPAS helicopter but the search was called off after 20 hours.

Liam’s car was located in Durlston Road near Durlston Country Park, and some climbing equipment was found one mile west of Anvil Point. His family were informed.

Emily later said: “Thanks for sharing information about Liam. However, it seems likely that he will not be returning.”

At the time, Chief Inspector Bob Acaster, of Dorset Police, said: “The man told his partner he was going climbing for the day but he failed to return home as normal.

“Every indication is that he did indeed go climbing on his own and we are very concerned that he may have come to some harm.

“It is possible that he may have gone deep water climbing which typically involves using a rope to lower down the cliff and then climbing back up unsupported.”

Mr Payne recorded a verdict of misadventure.