5 Aug 2013

Diver's family feels 'ripped off' by coroner's findings

4:09 pm on 5 August 2013

The family of a student diver who drowned in Auckland's Lake Pupuke says it feels ripped off by the coroner's findings on the case.

The bodies of Tyron North and Daniel Stoneham were recovered from the water in July 2011.

The coroner found the men's decision to descend at a rate faster than their instructor contributed to their deaths, which he ruled were accidental.

He is recommending all diving courses emphasise the need to carry appropriate equipment on all dives, including a knife, light source and timing device.

The coroner also said the instructor of the course, who was not charged, contributed to the deaths by failing to check matters including whether the two men were properly equipped.

The coroner's report said the families of the men were critical of a decision not to prosecute the dive company involved.

A member of Daniel Stoneham's family says the coroner's findings don't fix any of the problems at diving company Helix Training.

She says the family wanted to take legal action, to hold someone responsible for Mr Stoneham's death, but they cannot afford it.

She urges anyone who wants to go on a diving course to vigorously check the company's background.