Chronic heart condition linked to fisherman's death

By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times -
Moses Vahai, 19, had to leave his father, Moses Snr, in the water and make a 45-minute swim for his life after their fishing trip turned to disaster. Photo / Alan Gibson
Moses Vahai, 19, had to leave his father, Moses Snr, in the water and make a 45-minute swim for his life after their fishing trip turned to disaster. Photo / Alan Gibson

A chronic heart condition may have contributed to the death of Moses Vahai, who drowned while fishing in Tauranga Harbour, the coroner says.

Dr Wallace Bain reserved his findings at today's inquest on the death of the 56-year-old, a well-known Tauranga minister, who was fishing with his 19-year-old son when a large wave swamped their 3m runabout.

The court was told there were no lifejackets, radio, cellphone or bailing equipment onboard and the boat was overloaded.

The pair were fishing near Oruamatua Point, between Matapihi Peninsula and Welcome Bay, when the accident happened on the evening of September 21, 2011.

Mr Vahai Sr's body was found the next day. His son was unharmed.

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