8 Oct 2013

Police need to examine communications procedures - Coroner

12:33 am on 8 October 2013

A coroner has recommended the police review their communications procedures after a man drowned in a rafting accident on the Waiohine River near Greytown.

Michael Hopkins died last December when the raft he was in with two other people capsized.

An experienced police officer responding to the emergency suggested using a helicopter to help the rescue effort but he received no response and an aircraft was not deployed until about 10 minutes later.

Coroner Garry Evans says it is unlikely a quicker response would have saved Mr Hopkins but he asked police to review their emergency management procedures.

The police say the drowning did prompt them to look at how they respond to marine and land rescues.

They say they have recently changed procedures to make it clear that where someone's life is at risk, a communications centre can send out a helicopter or other rescue craft immediately.