A coroner investigating two fishing tragedies looks set to recommend making satellite-linked beacons and wearable flotation devices mandatory under law.
An inquest is underway in Te Anau into the loss of two pairs of fishing crewmen in Fiordland last year.
Southern coroner David Crerar indicated he would recommend law changes to the Government during the second and last scheduled day of the inquest this morning.
He has been hearing evidence relating to the deaths by drowning of K-Cee skipper-owner Bruce Robert Gordon, 42, of Te Anau, and crewman Darren James Allen, 37, also known as Fitzgerald, of Wairio, and the deaths by drowning of Governor skipper Kevin John Cosgrove, 60, of Dobson, Greymouth, and crewman Nirvana Drew Reynolds, 16, of Blackball, also near Greymouth.
Patchy communications and the different radio channels used by different fishing boats along the West Coast and Fiordland were issues raised in witness statements.
The poor health of Mr Cosgrove and the degree of maritime experience possessed by Mr Reynolds when both were dealing with a snagged net which anchored Governor in overwhelming sea conditions were discussed.
Jon Hansen, skipper of the fishing boat Charisma, said this morning he saw the Wendy J in front and Governor behind about a mile apart near the Knobbies north of Yates Point on September 15, but did not realise they were trawling at the time.
Conditions were rough with a 20 to 25 knot northerly with a swell of up to 4m and a "very strong" northerly tide running.
Mark Thomas, skipper of Wendy J, told him Governor had not turned up and Mr Cosgrove told him his net had snagged in a call received at 11.30am.
"I told Mr Thomas to come out looking and to raise the alarm," Mr Hansen said.
"I steamed to Anita Bay. Mr Thomas jumped on the Kiriana with Alan Munn and came out of Milford. We met in Anita Bay and I got rid of my fish there. We both went looking."
Philip O'Sullivan, skipper of Unleashed, told them he found diesel off Yates Point and all boats started to search south due to the heading of the tide at 6pm to 6.30pm.
Mr Hansen said cases and debris were found south of Transit Beach and Mr Munn found the empty life raft further south.
Fishermen continued searching until 10pm and returned to Milford Sound. Their search resumed the next morning.
Mr Hansen said he found Governor using sonar north of Yates Point off Professor Creek, about one mile offshore in 50m of water. He relayed the co-ordinates to police.
"I think the skipper of the Governor was going to uncable the net and buoy it," Mr Hansen said.
"I think that he may have undone one cable and that caused the boat to go sideways and roll over.
"That is if he got to that stage. That would be the most likely scenario.
"I would be picking that the skipper and his crewman would be both on deck undoing the net."
In his preliminary summary this morning, Mr Crerar said he was satisfied in both cases the boats foundered and the bodies had not been able to be recovered.
"I will emphasise again the need for fishermen to look after themselves more than they are doing," Mr Crerar said.