21 Nov 2015

Whitebaiter's death a reminder to always wear a lifejacket

8:13 am on 21 November 2015

The death of a whitebaiter who fell into a river near Invercargill without a lifejacket should serve as a reminder of the need to wear lifejackets on the water, a coroner says.

Kenneth Katene was adjusting a net when his dinghy overturned in the Oreti River last November.

An unused lifejacket was later found in the dinghy, which itself was described as worn and unstable.

Mr Katene was wearing heavy clothing, including gumboots and over-trousers that coroner David Crerar said would have dragged down even the strongest of swimmers.

Friends and family members had in the past urged Mr Katene to wear a lifejacket, but he would refuse.