A recreational boatie has been convicted of manslaughter after it was found he failed to follow several safety procedures that then resulted in a death.

Waitara man Teiron Jones was today sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court and will have to pay $5,000 reparation to the family of Erka Xu, who drowned following an incident two years ago.

The pair had been out on a fishing trip in 2015 when they got into trouble while attempting to cross the Waitara Bar.

As they approached the mouth of the Waitara River, the boat flipped - throwing both men into the water.

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Maritime New Zealand said in a statement this afternoon that neither of the men had been wearing a life jacket and there had been no life jackets on board the boat.

"Maritime rules make it mandatory for the skipper of a recreational boat to ensure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket at times of heightened risk.

"Jones also failed to take into account previous instruction from local boat skippers.''

Xu, a Chinese national who had been living in Hamilton for some time, left behind a wife and a young daughter.