Yachtsman dies at sea

Tauranga Volunteer Coastguard retrieved the man’s body and boat. Photo: Andrew Campbell.

UPDATED: 12.05pm A yachtsman found floating face down in the sea near A Beacon on Saturday is believed to have died as the result of a tragic accident, says Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner.

He was Gregory Dean Bunyan, a 55-year-old from Hamilton. He was unable to be revived when he was pulled from the water near the Tauranga Harbour entrance.

"Members of the public found an un-manned boat floating in the vicinity of the Tauranga Harbour entrance around 3:20pm on Saturday," says Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner today.

"The Coastguard was notified and responded within minutes, and found a man in the water.

"There was excellent work by the Coastguard crew to recover the man and commence CPR on the boat.

"Unfortunately, emergency services were unable to revive him on land.

"The matter appears to be a tragic accident and the death will be referred to the Coroner."

A second Tauranga Coastguard vessel, Sealegs Rescue was sent out to recover the yacht.


Tauranga Volunteer Coastguard was called early in the afternoon by people reporting an unoccupied yacht near A Beacon – the seaward channel marker about 2km from the entrance.

Coastguard found a man floating face down in the water near the yacht at about 3.20pm. Coastguard volunteers pulled the man on board and began CPR, which was continued until St John Paramedic took over back on shore.

The man lived in the Waikato and kept the boat, an 8.8m white yacht, at the Sulphur Point marina.

The man was sailing single-handed and was not wearing a lifejacket.

Alcohol was not a factor, says Greg.


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