Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Nigel Paradine KITCHEN and Andrew Trevor HINDS

Inquest into the Deaths of Nigel Paradine KITCHEN and Andrew Trevor HINDS

Delivered on : 29 December 2017

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner

Recommendations :Yes

Recommendation No. 1

All recreational activities on the water be undertaken with the wearing of personal floatation devices activated on contact with water.

Recommendation No. 2

Where recreational activities are undertaken in conditions where EPIRBs are used, those EPIRBs include a water activated device which is located externally to the cabin and does not require manual activation.

Recommendation No. 3

Those intending to fish recreationally off shore notify the local marine volunteer search and rescue group, or at the very least, friends and family of their intended route, and of changes directed by weather conditions where possible.

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The two deceased men left a boat ramp south of the Coral Bay town site at approximately 11.45am on the morning of 29 May 2016 with the intention of fishing. The boat had been purchased by Mr Hind in April 2016.  It had been extensively checked by way of service and improved diagnostics, including being equipped with two EPIRBs.  The weather forecast on the day was for worsening conditions and the two men had been advised to avoid south passage and use north passage route towards their intended destination.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied both men were very experienced mariners and would have made a decision for themselves as to the appropriate exit from the reef to their proposed fishing location, which they intended to reach in time to fish the high tide. The Deputy State Coroner concluded on the evidence it seemed likely that, despite the warnings, the two men decided they would risk taking the south passage.

While it is not possible to be certain as to the exit point through the reef, it was noted that all debris located was either in the vicinity of the south passage, both on the west and east boarders or consistent with drift from an area round south passage. The Deputy State Coroner concluded that it was most likely the deceased men did decide to transit out through south passage and, either in the passage or at the western entrance to the passage, the boat was swamped in one catastrophic event which capsized the vessel causing it to disintegrate very quickly.  The two men were not in a position to activate any of the safety equipment on board, and were probably injured in the event and, as a consequence drowned.  Remains of Mr Kitchen were recovered on 31 May 2016, confirming his death.

The Deputy State Coroner found there was no evidence either man survived. The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt as to the death of Mr Hinds for whom no remains were located.

The Deputy State Coroner highlighted the need for recreational boaters to have additional safety measures. Three recommendations were made in respect to the wearing of personal floatation devices, EPIRBs and the communication of any intended route.

Catch Words : Missing Person : Recreational Fishing : Personal Floatation Devices : EPIRBs : Communication of planned routes : Accident

Last updated: 27-Feb-2018

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