Richard Marriner, the man who died in a tragic paragliding incident on Mauao last week, spent hours recovering the belongings of fellow flyer Josh Tingey after his fatal crash on the same mountain earlier this year.

That act of "kindness and determination" is now being shared by Tingey's family as a testament to Marriner's character.

Marriner and Tingey were both members of the Bay of Plenty Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club and had flown together "many times", Tingey's mother Theresa told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"Joshua's family are very saddened to hear of Richard's tragic accident. Richard was an amazing support to us and was very involved at the time of Joshua's accident, which gave us comfort," she said.


Marriner, a 48-year-old from Tauranga, was paragliding from the summit of Mauao in Mount Maunganui last Friday afternoon when he suddenly dropped, crashing below. Despite CPR efforts from shocked witnesses, he did not survive.

Theresa Tingey said Marriner and her son Joshua – who was 28 and recently-engaged when he died on Mauao in February – both had a love for flying and also shared a passion for motocross.

"He [Marriner] actually spent hours in at times appalling weather trying to recover personal belongings that Josh lost at the time he crashed," she said.

"Richard was on a mission and very sensitive to what they meant to us."

Josh Tingey shortly before his death while paragliding at Mount Maunganui. Photo / Supplied
Josh Tingey shortly before his death while paragliding at Mount Maunganui. Photo / Supplied

Theresa Tingey said she wanted to share Marriner's "kindness and determination to lessen our burden".

"We will miss our meetings and chats on the Mount. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Richard's family," she said.

"Fly free."

Marriner's death has been referred to the Coroner.


In September, a coroner found that either a sudden gust had put Tingey off course, or he had misjudged his own ability, in his fatal accident on February 17.

Meanwhile, Tauranga man Tari Sinclair, who got to know Marriner during many climbs up Mauao, and who witnessed Friday's tragedy while on the mountain, has been grieving in his own way.

He took a big bunch of flowers up Mauao on Saturday and placed them on a cliffside.

"I'll never ever forget him. It's going to be hard going up sometimes. It will be hard," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Sinclair said he had made contact with the Bay of Plenty Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club.

"I think they all are finding it pretty hard still."

He said a memorial walk up Mauao was being planned for Tuesday and he was going to take part.

Sinclair said his thoughts were with Marriner's wife.

"I met her twice walking down and she looked like a lovely lady and I just hope to meet her sometime and just give her a big hug and let her know I'm so, so sorry."