The brother of a man who vanished while fishing on Flinders Island in 2015 is still waiting for answers.
It was believed 42-year-old Robert Charles Mansell slipped at Salmon Rocks and fell into the water while fishing with his friend Joshua Kennedy.
But during an inquest in March this year, Mr Kennedy’s version of events was questioned.
The inquest was put on hold so police could reinvestigate the case, and it recommenced in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Monday.
Mr Mansell’s older brother Anthony Haines told Coroner Olivia McTaggart he was “frustrated” with the lack of answers and struggled daily with not having a body to put to rest.
The inquest heard the reinvestigation by Launceston detectives had revealed a “number of discrepancies” in the evidence from Mr Kennedy, who was the last person to see Mr Mansell alive.
He had told police in 2015 he was fishing with Mr Mansell when his line became snagged and Mr Mansell went down to the water to free it.
That was when Mr Kennedy claimed his friend slipped off the rocks and was washed away by a wave and that his attempts to rescue him had failed.
The inquest heard that at no point did Mr Kennedy call emergency services, which he claimed was because he did not have reception.
Mr Kennedy told police he left the scene in his car, but ran out of fuel and started walking.
That was when another man drove by and picked him up.
That man previously told the inquest he heard Mr Kennedy say “I’m going to go to jail for this”, and it was that man who called triple zero.
Launceston CIB Detective Sergeant Peter Roberts told the inquest he and another detective travelled to Flinders Island in May this year as part of the reinvestigation, and tested mobile phone reception at Salmon Rocks.
They were able to make multiple calls from where Mr Mansell allegedly fell in the water.
Checking Mr Kennedy’s phone records from the day Mr Mansell disappeared, the detectives also discovered he had made and received several calls that morning.
Detectives also investigated Mr Kennedy’s claims he had run out of fuel, and came to the conclusion he should have had “plenty of fuel” when he tried to leave Salmon Rocks to contact emergency services.
Detective Sergeant Roberts said “in his view”, Mr Kennedy’s claims he ran out of fuel could have been a “cover story” to explain why he hadn’t contacted police and an attempt to “hide something more sinister”.
When the detectives re-interviewed Mr Kennedy this year, he responded to their questions with “no comment”, the court heard.
The inquest continues.
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