Findings in drowning deaths released

A Coronial inquest in to the tragic drowning deaths of an Invermay father and son has released its findings. 

Timothy Skinner and his six-year-old son Connor Hart were swept into the ocean by a large wave while rock fishing with a friend in Bicheno last year.

The two had gone to Bicheno along with Connor's mother and friends for a weekend birthday celebration . 

The inquest heard Mr Skinner's last words were ``save Connor'' after he was smashed into the sea with his son by a very large wave at a spot called Suntrap Cove.

The friend raced to get help and on returning found ``Mr Skinner and Connor face down in the water ''.

Connor's body was pulled from the ocean that evening however his father's body has not been found. 

In her findings Coroner Olivia McTaggart said it was a tragedy with Connor's  mother losing both her partner and son in ``terribly traumatic circumstances''.

Ms McTaggart urged rock fishers to be vigilant  and engage in safety measures such as wearing life-jackets and proper footwear. 

She did not recommend signage be posted at the area. 

``Members of the public are to be reminded that there are inherent dangers in being near the coastline in this area, which is exposed to open water in all directions,'' Ms McTaggart said. 

``The conditions may appear safe at first glance but may change instantly with large sets of waves or rogue waves moving through suddenly.''

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