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Use only up-to-date life jackets: coroner

AAP logoAAP 3/08/2016

The death of a Tasmanian man who drowned while wearing an old life jacket has prompted a coronial recommendation.

In December 2014 Andrew Amos Grey, 45, set off from St Helen's on the state's east coast in a 5.2-metre runabout with his two teenage sons and a third boy, when the vessel was swamped by a big wave and capsized.

In dramatic scenes the boys were rescued by a passing boat, and Mr Grey's body was recovered a short time later.

A subsequent investigation found the life jacket was 16 years old and trials by a police officer showed it failed to work properly.

"Press studs in the PFD (personal flotation device) popped every time he inflated it and whilst the bladder remained in or near its correct position on every occasion, it failed to right him or lift his face from the water," coroner Simon Cooper said in his findings handed down on Wednesday.

He recommended that PFDs should not be worn if they do not comply with Australian standards and that all inflatable PFDs must be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

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