A coroner has found the death of an adored Tauranga school teacher was a "tragic accident".
Logan Gemming, a 37-year-old Tauranga Boys' College teacher, died after a kitesurfing accident at Tauranga's Fergusson Park in January last year.
His death sent shockwaves through the school's community. He had been a much-loved physical education and health teacher, plus a Year 11 dean. Gemming lived in Bethlehem with his wife and children.
Coroner Wallace Bain, who has since retired, issued his finding into Gemming's death in February this year. The finding has just been released to the Bay of Plenty Times.
According to the finding, an expert witness found safety oversights contributed to the death, but Gemming's family told the Times he was always very safety conscious.
Bain considered evidence from police reports, an ESR toxicology report, post-mortem examination report, witness statements and expert reports.
Police were called to the park about 4.25pm on January 20 and examined the scene. A post-mortem examination found Gemming died of an aortic rupture after a high-energy impact with a wooden bollard.
Toxicology reports showed no alcohol or drugs in his blood.
Police found no suspicious circumstances.
An expert report by Glenn Bright, a kite boarding instructor with more than 50 years' experience in sailing and wind sports, said a south-westerly wind of 16 to 20 knots, gusting to 28 knots, was blowing when Gemming died.
Up to 25 other kiteboarders were on the water or beach and grass area when the accident happened.
A friend standing at the park entrance helped Gemming to launch his kite. The friend was satisfied he was in the correct position for a good launch. In the wind, the kite began to shift position and it was released. A thumbs-up was given.
But the friend saw that things were out of control. Gemming fell to the ground, still holding his kite, and was dragged on to a wooden pole.
Gemming's speed was estimated at about 30km/h. Other witnesses saw Gemming struggling with his kite.
Bright said: "The flyer had unfortunately overlooked some of the very important safe setup and launching procedures".
He said the setup and launch was at the downwind end of the grass area with 25m or less of clear space between the flyer and road edge.
"This oversight was a crucial element because the flyer did not have enough clear space to react to losing control of the kite."
Bright found the initial launch went well, but turbulent wind caused Gemming to lose control of the kite and be pulled into the bollard. He believed the kite's safety release was not activated because Gemming was trying to regain control.
He said the area was also busy with people and kites so space was limited.
Bain said this was a "tragic accident" and he extended his sympathy to Gemming's family.
Gemming's father, Dr John Gemming, told the Bay of Plenty Times his son was incredibly safety-conscious.
"We don't want there to be any suggestion that he was being unsafe and carefree. He was very safety conscious and followed procedures for keeping himself and the kids [at school] safe at all times. This was just an unfortunate accident."
Tauranga Boys' College named their hockey turf the Gemming Turf in September last year as a mark of respect for the beloved teacher.