A MAN from Hythe drowned after falling backwards down a set of stairs.

Dennis James Southern, 71, had been walking towards his property in Hythe Marina Village, an inquest opening heard.

He fell into the water and, despite initially keeping himself afloat, submerged.

Paramedics were called but Mr Southern was pronounced dead at Southampton General Hospital on August 11.

A post mortem report by pathologist Dr Adrian Bateman states the preliminary cause of death as drowning.

Senior coroner Christopher Wilkinson said the full inquest will be heard at Winchester Coroner's Court on April 26.