A musician drowned in a tragic accident after going for a swim at Merlin’s Cave in Tintagel.
Isaac Johnson, 23, is thought to have got into difficulties after going for a swim the morning after attending Tintagel Fairy Fayre & Ball in May.
His guitar and a folded towel were found on the beach.
Isaac, of Chy-an-Gweal Estate, Ludgvan, near Penzance, worked with people who have learning difficulties.
He had been due to meet friends – Michael Tingle and Karen Kay, the organiser of the event – for breakfast on May 6 but went for a swim beforehand, the inquest heard.
He had been staying in a campervan belonging to the couple.
Tourist Robert Brown, was returning to Birmingham from St Agnes and decided to stop off in Tintagel with his girlfriend.
The couple found Isaac’s body at the entrance to the cave while they were exploring and immediately rang the emergency services who arrived at just after 2pm.
Isaac had been due to meet a friend for breakfast on May 6 and had decided to go for a swim beforehand
The inquest heard that John Moore, custodian of King Arthur’s Great Halls where the ball had been held the night before, saw who he thought was Isaac walking to the beach at about 9.30am, though it may not have been him.
Isaac played cornet in St Ives Town Band at just seven years old and went on to graduate with a BA in DJing and electronic music at the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth.
DC Simon Franklin, of Launceston CID, said that the cave has two entrances and is known locally to be volatile.
He said: “The water can be quite difficult to swim in as waves come in from the other side.”
DC Franklin had studied footage from a camera set up by English Heritage to record the building of the new Tintagel footbridge and had spotted a figure in the water near Merlin’s Cave for three minutes from 8.31am.
There was no certainty it was Isaac but it was more than likely to be him.
Merlin’s Cave is located beneath Tintagel Castle, Cornwall
(Image: Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images)
After investigating, police came to the conclusion there was no third party involvement and Isaac – described as a competent swimmer – died as the result of a tragic accident.
A pathologist gave the cause of death as drowning in sea water and noted there were no traces of alcohol or drugs in Isaac’s system.
Andrew Cox, acting senior coroner for Cornwall, said: “Isaac decided to indulge his pastime of sea swimming. It’s a beautiful spot up there and I completely understand why he wanted to do that.
“He was described as a competent and confident swimmer but at some point he got into difficulties but none of it was witnessed.”
“It’s speculation but it’s a reasonable hypothesis that he tried to get into the cave and got into difficult water.
“At that time of year you don’t need to be in the water long for problems to develop very quickly.
“There is no suggestion of this being deliberate or suicide.”
Isaac had recently trained as a support worker for a care home in Hayle where he was playing music with the residents as part of their therapy
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He concluded Isaac died as the result of an accident and gave his condolences to Isaac’s parents Gary Cook and Michelle Johnson, who were both present at Truro Magistrates Court for the hearing.
Following the inquest, Michelle said: “Isaac had so much time for everybody – he was so loving and caring, and would help anyone.
“Merlin’s Cave is a spiritual place and Isaac was a very spiritual person so I take some comfort that he died in such a beautiful place.”
Isaac had recently trained as a support worker for a care home in Hayle where he was playing music with the residents as part of their therapy.
Michelle added: “His passion for music led him to discover the healing powers of the sacred Solfeggio Frequencies. He began to produce music with vibrations that can heal the mind, body, spirit and soul.”
His debut track, Thank You Michael, was released by record company Liquid Ritual in May. The label has dedicated it to his memory.
Isaac’s mother added: “He was dedicated to his family and touched the hearts of everyone he met. His love and laughter will be missed by us all.”