A former Whanganui music teacher has drowned after his boat capsized off the Taranaki coastline early Friday morning.

Teiron Jones, aged in his early 60s, had been fishing with his 31-year-old Filipino wife before their boat was discovered foundering and sinking near the Waitara Bar at around 6am on Friday.

His wife, who had only been in the country for a few weeks, had been plucked from the water by a coastguard and taken to Taranaki Base Hospital in a stable condition.

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Jones will be remembered in Whanganui as a "gifted musician" who was passionate about spreading his love for music.

He founded the Wanganui Community Choir in 1991 and became head of music at Whanganui High School in the same year.

Jones had wanted people of all age groups without auditioning to come and sing for enjoyment and meet people along the way.

Founder of Wanganui Community Choir and former head of music at WHS, Teiron Jones, remembered.
Founder of Wanganui Community Choir and former head of music at WHS, Teiron Jones, remembered.

Born in Wales, Jones trained singers, conducted choirs and taught music all over the world.

He studied as a bass-baritone under Gerald Davies at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and became a professional opera, oratorio and concert singer.

Jones became involved nationally and was a foundation member of the New Zealand Singers - the country's first national representative choir.

He was made an Honorary Member of the National Maori Choir of New Zealand through his involvement with Maori singers.

Jones left Whanganui in 1994, with his first wife and eldest son, to moved to Tanzania to start his next musical adventure.

He later returned to New Zealand and settled in Waitara where he continued to be immersed in his music.

Jones had only been married to his Filipino wife for two months before the tragic incident.

He has been at the centre of a boating tragedy previously. His dinghy capsized crossing the Waitara Bar in 2015, and a man subsequently died.

Jones was convicted of manslaughter in August and criticised by a judge for flouting basic boating safety. Neither of the men were wearing lifejackets when the craft flipped.

Neighbours of Jones and his new bride on Friday said the couple left their property with the boat in tow before lunch on Thursday.

A next-door neighbour, who did not want to be named, said Jones had shifted into the street about two years ago, soon after the earlier water tragedy that claimed the life of Chinese national Erka Xu.

The ill-fated boat that flipped on the Waitara Bar remained permanently propped up against Jones' fence.

The neighbour said beautiful music could be heard coming from his home as the choristers rehearsed.

A Facebook post shows the group - Waitara Sound Good Singers - had already started singing carols in the community with Jones leading the group on keyboard.

The neighbour said Jones had also started a new chapter in his life, celebrating his wedding in Manila in September.

"It's quite sad," he said.