British man killed by boat propeller in New Zealand diving tragedy

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A British man has been killed by a boat propeller while on a diving trip with friends in New Zealand.

Bruce Porter, 56, who emigrated to NZ a few years ago with his wife Jill, but was originally from Nottingham, was part of the Western Underwater Dive Club.

Bruce was struck by the propeller of the 16-metre catamaran on Friday 7 February in Tutukaka, 30km east of Whangarei.

He was on a three-day diving trip with 12 friends on board the catamaran, called Pacific Hideaway and owned by Dive Tutukaka, when the tragedy occurred at the Poor Knights Islands in the Northlands region of New Zealand.

Bruce was unconscious but still breathing when he was pulled from the water, but was pronounced dead at the scene.

The coastguard and a helicopter were called out, and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

It is thought Bruce, a former civil engineer, had been part of the dive club for five years.

Dive Tutukaka spokeswoman Kate Malcolm said Bruce was on the surface of the water at Landing Bay Pinnacle when the accident happened.

She told the Nottingham Post: "This is a boating incident rather than a diving incident.

"As far as I know it was an all-round tragedy. We're a close-knit community here in Tutukaka so we're all affected."

Bruce's diving pal Bert van de Burg said he was well-liked and "always had a smile on his face".

According to, police will now investigate the death on behalf of the coroner alongside Maritime New Zealand.

A spokeswoman said it usually took several months for reports to be completed, and it would not be clear until then who was at fault.

The skipper of the boat was said to be "taking it very hard", and Kate Malcolm added: "I don't think there was any fault on anyone's part, it was just a tragedy. That will come out eventually, I'm sure. But at the moment it's just about taking time and taking stock.

"The operators are well-known and well-liked and very respectful, there's no cowboys out here."

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