Inquest into the Suspected Death of Hajime NAGAI

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Hajime NAGAI

Delivered on :31 March 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Vicker

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : On 11 March 1995 Hajime Nagai (Mr Nagi) and a female friend were on rocks on the western end of Salmon Beach, west of Esperance, when Mr Nagai slipped from the rocks into the sea. He was unable to gain traction on the rocks to climb out and eventually disappeared beneath the waves. Mr Nagai was never seen again and no trace of him was ever located.

At the time Mr Nagai slipped on the rocks and into the water, a resident from the Esperance townsite was driving along Twilight Beach with some friends. As they drove towards Salmon Beach they noticed someone in the water, and stopped the car to see what was happening. It was obvious the person in the water was in trouble. They noticed Mr Nagai wash onto the rocks by a wave which left him kneeling on the rocks, however, the next wave came through and washed him back into the water. Both men ran down onto the beach to see if they could help. Mr Nagai was observed to be approximately 50 to 10 metres out into the sea. It appeared Mr Nagai was not attempting to swim, rather just treading water. Mr Nagai disappeared under the waves approximately two minutes after the men had reached Mr Nagai’s female companion.

Esperance police received a telephone call at 12.50 pm advising that a man had slipped off the rocks at Salmon Beach and was in the ocean approximately 200 metres from the shore. Police attended the scene while emergency services were notified and procedures implemented via the Sea Rescue Group for a search and rescue effort. Divers were also deployed to the area. Due to the adverse weather conditions the divers conducted a preliminary underwater search only. The land and sea searches continued until dark. They were rescheduled to resume at 6.00 am the following morning. Comprehensive land, sea and air searches were continued twice daily through 12 to 17 March 1995 as a recovery operation. The air search was terminated on Friday 17 March 1995 after the morning search, while the land and sea search continued until Sunday 19 March 1995. It was calculated that approximately 20 people were searching each day.

Mr Nagai’s father arrived in Esperance on 16 March 1995. No trace of Mr Nagai has been located.

The Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Mr Nagai is deceased. The Coroner found the death occurred by way of Misadventure.

Catch Words : Long Term Missing Person : Land, Sea and Air Search : Misadventure

Last updated: 14-Apr-2020

[ back to top ]