10 Sep 2013

Coroner finds diver failed to declare heart problems

1:43 pm on 10 September 2013

A coroner has found that an American man who died on a Northland dive trip should have told the tour operators he had heart disease.

Donald James Brown, 55, died after surfacing from a dive at the Poor Knights Islands in May 2011.

Coroner Brandt Shortland found Mr Brown's death was likely a cardiac event as a result of diving.

Mr Brown signed a form before the dive saying he had no heart conditions, but in fact he had a ten-year history of coronary artery disease and wore a medic alert disc saying he had a stent.

The coroner said a police report suggested Mr Brown had less diving experience than he claimed and had previously put himself at risk by diving deeper and for longer than planned.