Coroner says Sonny Fai drowned

By Melissa Davies

A coroner has held an inquiry into the death of Sonny Fai so that his family can finally be issued with his death certificate more than seven months after he drowned.

The words spoken in court clear the way for Fai's life insurance payout from the NRL, which is believed to be around $600,000.

The promising league star was swept to sea in January while swimming with family at Bethells Beach in Auckland.

The coroner says emergency services did all they could to find him in the notoriously dangerous conditions.

Fai's sister Lalelei says it has been a tragic lesson in water safety and now she wants to stop others from suffering the same fate.

"Pacific Islanders are known to be good swimmers, but knowing the risks and the signs to be aware of safety in water they are not aware of that, so I would really like to promote it," she says.

The coroner recommended that phone services are reviewed at the beach and suggested the installation of a fixed public telephone that could make emergency calls.

He also asked that a copy of his report be sent to Vodafone and Telecom so they can consider the limited cellphone coverage.

3 News

source: newshub archive