Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Jeffery Thomas DOYLE

Inquest into the Death of Jeffery Thomas DOYLE

Delivered on : 17 August 2018

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner King

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was last known to be alive when on 17 October 2016 he spoke to his wife by phone from his boat off the Bunbury coast. He planned to return home that evening but failed to do so.  Early on 19 October 2016, the deceased’s wife contacted the Bunbury Police Station and reported that he was overdue.

On 16 October 2016 the deceased told his wife that he was going to go fishing to take advantage of what he believed was a 243 hour extension of the demersal fishing season. He drove to the Bunbury Yacht Club and loaded supplies, including two cray pots, bait and ice, onto the boat.  On the way he stopped at a bank machine and withdrew $150.  He spoke to a committee member of the yacht club and told him that he intended to go out fishing and drop his cray pots off Binningup.  He said that he would have a drink and would then sleep until about 2.00 am the next morning, when the weather was expected to calm down.  He would head out then.

The deceased headed out at daylight and did not contact ACRM.

On 17 October 2016 in the afternoon the deceased spoke to his wife giving her his location. The deceased’s wife sent the deceased a text message at 8.22 pm asking if he had returned, but she did not receive a response.  On 18 October 2016 members of the yacht club had become concerned about the deceased as he had not returned.  The deceased’s wife was not overly concerned at that stage, but went for a drive to see if she could spot the boat in the bay or at fisherman’s harbour, but she did not find him.

At 3.00 am on 19 October 2016 the deceased’s wife drove to the yacht club and saw that the deceased had still not returned and just after 5.00 am that morning, she contact the Bunbury Police Station to report that he was overdue. Police co-ordinated a sea and air search for three days, but found neither the deceased nor his boat.

On 28 October 2016 residents of Grey, near Jurien Bay, found the deceased’s boat beached on the shoreline about three kilometres south of Grey. The deceased was not with his boat.  An air and land search was then undertaken in the vicinity of the boat, but no sign of the deceased was found.

The Coroner found the death has been established beyond all reasonable doubt. The Coroner did not find how the manner of the deceased died but found death occurred by way of misadventure.

Catch Words : Missing Person : Boating Accident : Misadventure.


Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

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