An investigation into the death of Jacob Cockle, 28, the award-winning photographer that passed away in May of last year, found that the man drowned while being sucked into a whirlpool he was attempting to capture on camera.
Cockle made a name for himself online for the daredevil underwater stunts that he captured on film and uploaded to video-sharing sites. His videos were often comedic but included potentially dangerous stunts, including several earlier videos that depicted Cockle near whirlpools and other underwater hazards.
According to the Daily Mail, the investigation into Cockle’s death found traces of the drug ketamine in his body. It is unlikely, however, that Cockle was under the influence of the drug while swimming underwater, although the validity of that statement is difficult to determine. Cockle was also wearing a plastic horse head as part of a costume for comedic effect when he died.
Andrew Cox, the coroner responsible for Cockle’s case, explained that he believed Cockle to have passed away understanding the risks he was taking by filming near the whirlpool.
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“Jacob went down to the harbor with an expressed intention of recording the whirlpools there. I have seen the footage of him being sucked around the whirlpool while wearing the horse’s head. There is no doubt that Jacob was a competent waterman. There is also no doubt that he was a risk taker. I accept however that those risks were not spontaneous or impulsive but were considered. He was an admirable young man who died doing what he loved,” Cox said.
Cockle died in Cornwall, United Kingdom.