Richard Keremeta's death at the Kopua Domain, Raglan in 2016 has been found to be accidental by the Coroner.

The 16-year-old died on Monday, February 8, 2016, after he jumped off the Raglan footbridge and as he surfaced from the water, a friend landed on him.

The friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a Coroner's inquest he felt his knee trick Richard's head as he landed in the water.

Read more: Teen speaks about drowning after a tragic accident


"As a result of that collision, Richard was forced under the water and was unable to resurface," Coroner Gordon Matenga said.

"Richard was located approximately 15 minutes later on the bottom of the estuary, was carried to the jetty and placed on his side onto the ground nearby.

"Despite vigorous efforts, Richard could not be revived and he was declared deceased by the doctor that arrived with the [rescue] helicopter."

A crowd gathers on a jetty at the edge of Raglan Harbour after the incident. Photo / Alan Gibson
A crowd gathers on a jetty at the edge of Raglan Harbour after the incident. Photo / Alan Gibson

Coroner Matenga found Richard was jumping off the bridge with others when a group of kayakers were about to pass under them.

As they passed, Richard jumped off the bridge and executed a bomb near them and after waiting a few seconds, the second boy jumped in after him.

He told Coroner Matenga at the Hamilton District Court in August 2016 he thought Richard had been carried by the current under the footbridge.

It wasn't until he was in the air that he noticed Richard coming up for breath from a jump he did just seconds before.

The teenager did not know Richard, did not realise the Raglan local sank after the collision and was in shock as he tried to tell associates he thought he had landed on someone.


It was the first time the teenager had jumped off the bridge, a popular spot for doing "bombs" into the water near the entrance to Raglan Harbour.

"It happened in a split second. I was hoping Richard wouldn't die."