14 Aug 2009

Council to investigate landline for Bethells Beach

6:06 am on 14 August 2009

Waitakere City Council will look at how a landline phone could be funded for Bethells Beach, following the drowning of rugby league player Sonny Fai.

The 20-year-old drowned in January while swimming with family members after patrol hours. He was the seventh person to drown at the beach since 2002.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean said at Fai's inquest on Thursday that a permanent landline should be considered for the beach due to patchy mobile coverage.

Judge MacLean told the court that the beach is a beautiful location but a dangerous one, and Fai may have perished because he saved his brother from the rip before trying to save himself.

Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey says a landline phone should be installed near the beach, which people can recognise and reach quickly in emergencies. He says the council will look into how a phone could be funded.