31 Jan 2012

Police blamed for drowning

9:18 am on 31 January 2012

A coroner's report on a drowning in Otago says it is not appropriate for the victim's family to blame the police for his death.

Paul Wilson, an engineer, died in February last year when he fell into the Clutha river while taking water samples for the Talla Burn generation power station nearby.

Coroner David Crerar's report says the family believes the police response was inadequate.

When Mr Wilson's father alerted police to his disappearance, he could not accurately describe his location because he was using a colloquial place name that was not on a map.

by the time officers arrived on the scene, The coroner says it was more of a recovery than a rescue mission.

But he recommended that the Commissioner of Police address why colloquial descriptions for places that have been in existence for many years, don't appear on police maps.