6 Jun 2012

Easy Rider inquest confirms drownings

8:10 pm on 6 June 2012

The Chief Coroner has officially confirmed the deaths of four people missing from the Easy Rider fishing boat which sank in Foveaux Strait.

Judge Neil MacLean held the short hearing in Invercargill on Wednesday to officially confirm the deaths of four people still missing from the vessel which rolled when hit by a wave on the way to muttonbirding islands near Stewart Island.

Dallas Reedy survived the sinking in March this year. The bodies of four people were recovered, but the other four were never found.

Judge Neil MacLean pronounced the missing drowned, saying there is little chance that new information would change the cause of death.

The Coroner said he would reopen the inquest only if questions remain after separate inquiries by Maritime New Zealand and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission are completed.

Investigators have already that found boats like the Easy Rider have stability problems when overloaded.