Dunedin Television|On Demand - Freeview|HD Channel 39 - Monday, July 6th, 2015

Drowning victim not wearing life jacket

A 75 year old Portobello man who drowned just metres from the shore of Papanui inlet yesterday appears not to have been wearing a life jacket.

Police say the outcome could have been very different if he was, and the incident is another warning to boaties.

Robert Wilfred Clearwater was one of two occupants of a dinghy that capsized in the inlet as the pair retrieved a fishing net.

Both ended up in the water.

While the other occupant clung to a buoy, Mr Clearwater got into difficulty in a channel just ten or 15 metres offshore.

On-lookers went to his assistance immediately on body boards, but could not revive him.

Police say initial enquiries suggest life jackets were neither worn nor available.