24 Feb 2012

Post-party swim was fatal - coroner

6:45 pm on 24 February 2012

A coroner says a man drowned in Lyttelton harbour because he had drunk too much alcohol while at a Christmas party.

Robert Bernard Campbell, 46, of Christchurch drowned on 4 December, 2010, while trying to swim between 80 metres to 100 metres from shore, after jumping from a boat in the harbour.

Coroner Richard McElrea says Mr Campbell had a high alcohol level of 249 miligrams/100 mililitres in his system, which impaired his ability to swim and resulted in his death.

He had stripped to his boxers and jumped into the water, telling others on board he wanted to search for paua and kinas.

Despite starting strongly, Mr Campbell soon become motionless. Emergency services were called, but declared him dead at the scene.