Student drowning tragedy

January 18, 2023 3:47 pm in by


The Coroner has labelled free-diving hazardous, after investigating the tragic death of a Taroona High student off South Bruny in late 2021.

Harry Han drowned in Lighthouse Bay after becoming entangled in his spear fishing line; the strong competitive swimmer was with two inexperienced dive partners at the time.

The coroner has recommended those engaging in free diving take courses and never do it without capable partners.

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“A free-diver should always dive under the direct observation of a dive buddy or partner and he or she should never dive at the same time as their partner,” said Coroner Robert Webster. 

“The dive buddy should be familiar with all safety and rescue procedures and be capable of rendering assistance if required.

“If a freediver becomes entangled in a spear gun line and tethered below the surface of the water because the spear has become trapped on the seafloor, as occurred in this case, then the buddy is able to cut the spear gun line and release the diver.

“The diver should also be able to easily access a knife in the event it is required in an emergency.”