A boatie who drowned while out on a fishing trip with his wife died trying to save her only weeks after the couple wed, his son says.

Teiron Jones, 60, and his 31-year-old Filipino wife Janeth Intun, left his Taranaki home about 11am on Thursday, planning to spend the day out on the water.

Their boat sunk soon after, near the Waitara Bar.

Intun was plucked from the water by the Coastguard about 6am on Friday and taken to Taranaki Base Hospital.

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Jones' son Jared Jones said police were still investigating and were yet to reveal the specific details about what went wrong, but he understood his father had sacrificed his life for Intun, whom he had married in Manila about two months ago.

"The boat was sinking and then it was like a Titanic situation - he didn't think she would survive if he was to stay on it as well so he stayed in the water."

The couple had been together about 18 months, Jared Jones said, although Intun had been living overseas for most of their relationship.

Jared Jones had met his father's new wife for the first and only time a few weeks ago.

Jones "wasn't a perfect man" and had "made a lot of mistakes", but he put others before himself, the 24-year-old told the Herald.

"You'll never meet anyone in your life who's more selfless and caring about other people."

He had been involved in a fatal boating incident in 2015, when his dinghy capsized crossing the Waitara Bar, killing Erka Xu.

Jones in August was convicted of manslaughter and criticised by a judge for flouting basic boating safety. Neither of the men was wearing a lifejacket when the craft flipped.

Jared Jones said despite being an experienced boatie, Jones probably shouldn't have been operating a boat after the first crash.

"That is a failure on my part and anyone's part who really allowed him do that again.

"It's very hard to say this because he was a very experienced boater. He had been driving boats all his life in countries all around the world in seas far more dangerous than New Zealand's."

The father-of-three had struggled with following regulations and rules in New Zealand after living in Africa for a long time, where life was very different, Jared Jones said.

He was originally from Wales but had left the UK after college. A neighbour said Jones had moved into his Hume St home about two years ago.

Jones was a talented musician and had devoted a lot of his time to volunteering at rest homes and hospitals and playing music to patients, Jared Jones said.

"He was in choirs. Music was his passion and just giving to the community was his passion and he just combined them."

As well as being a good singer, he played the piano, the guitar "and pretty much anything you put in front of him".

"His main talent was teaching though. You can go back 35 years and you'll find students who will just rave about how good his music classes were," Jared Jones said.

Jared Jones said he was yet to speak to his father's widow because he lived in Auckland, but believed Intun had been discharged from hospital.

He planned to travel to New Plymouth in the coming days to be with family members and start planning Jones' funeral.