15 Feb 2016

Coroner rules three who disappeared drowned

2:06 pm on 15 February 2016

A coroner has found three German people who disappeared aboard a boat in Foveaux Strait two years ago drowned because of the skipper's incompetence.

The yacht Munetra, its owner Andre Kinzler and two tourists, Lea Tietz and Veronika Steudler have not been seen since they left Bluff in April 2014.

Items from the yacht washed up a month later.

The Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar has today ruled Mr Kinzler took the yacht on an ill-advised journey, despite warnings of gale-force winds and marginal sea conditions.

He said Mr Kinzler was an inexperienced yachtsman who had taught himself on the internet, and lacked radio skills and equipment.