Police want to sort mishap

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 27/03/2014

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Police are still searching for answers as to how a boating incident unfolded on the shores of Lake Benmore last December.

John Gascoigne, 73, of Timaru, suffered spinal injuries after he became tangled in a rope while putting a boat in the lake near Twizel.

The incident happened on December 28 while he was assisting a relative launching the boat at the Ohau C ramp.

Mr Gascoigne suffered serious injuries including a broken neck and is now a tetraplegic.

Senior Constable Bruce Dow said witnesses could confirm the rope was attached to Mr Gascoigne's trailer. However, some questions were still unanswered. "We still haven't established where, why or how that rope was attached."

He said Mr Gascoigne and his wife had been interviewed.

"They have given their honest version of what happened, but we have not got those key questions answered."

Police said some "heated words" were passed by a man waiting to get his boat out of the water as Mr Gascoigne and another man were trying to launch their boat. He said, as a result, the driver of the vehicle that had just launched the boat moved up the ramp to clear it.

During the manoeuvre, Mr Gascoigne, who was holding on to a rope attached to the front of the boat, was "flung like a rag doll" into the side of the other boatie's trailer.

Mr Dow said it was not too late for witnesses to come forward with information. "Inquiries . . . are still definitely on the radar. It's never too late [to come forward].

"If anyone can answer any one or all three of those key questions I would jump in the car and go and see them."

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- The Timaru Herald

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