Friends of experienced diver Bruce Porter have reacted with
shock to his death after being hit by a boat.
Diving buddy Bert van de Burg said Porter was well liked by
"He was one of those guys who always had a smile on his
face," van de Burg said.
Porter, 56, was fatally struck by the propeller of a boat the
Western Underwater Dive Club from Auckland chartered for a
weekend trip to a marine reserve off the east coast of
Police were yesterday talking to the owners of the 16m
catamaran Pacific Hideway after the incident at dusk in the
waters off the Poor Knights Islands on Friday.
The dead man's family and the owners of the chartered vessel,
Mark and Denise Barnes, yesterday took part in an emotional
Coastguard operations manager Ray Burge said the severely
injured diver was unconscious but still breathing when he was
pulled from the water.
By the time a rescue helicopter paramedic was winched on
board the man had died.
Police are conducting an investigation on behalf of the
Another member of the West Auckland club said it was a
scheduled club dive and about 12 members signed up to dive
for three days around the island group.
Dive Tutukaka spokeswoman Kate Malcom said the experienced
dive club member was on the surface of the water at Landing
Bay Pinnacle when the accident happened.
"This is a boating incident rather than a diving incident."
Maritime NZ rules oblige skippers and divers to keep a
lookout at all times, travel at a safe speed, display an A
(alpha) flag to indicate that a diver is in the water, move
at under five knots, and keep 50m from other vessels.
Maritime NZ said it has previously investigated accidents
where swimmers, spearfishers and divers have been hurt by
vessels operating in excess of five knots within 200m of the
In 2004, a diver was run over by a boat near Kawau Island in
almost identical circumstances.
- by Mike Botur