Robert Charles MANSELL

 

Tasmanian man Robert Charles Mansell

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Robert Mansell's fishing friend did not call triple-0 after disappearance, inquest hears

By Damian McIntyre - ABC

Updated 

The fishing companion of a Flinders Island man who disappeared on the Bass Strait island three years ago had mobile phone coverage but did not call emergency services, an inquest has heard.

The coroner is investigating the death of Robert Charles Mansell on the island in August 2015.

He was reported missing after a fishing trip with his friend, Joshua Kennedy.

The inquest heard Mr Kennedy did not contact emergency services because he did not have mobile phone coverage.

But counsel assisting the coroner, Jane Ansell, said it was likely Mr Kennedy would have had reception.

"Mr Kennedy clearly had mobile phone reception and at no stage did he try to call triple-0," she said.

Detective Sergeant Peter Roberts, who re-investigated the case, also gave evidence today.

He said Mr Kennedy did have mobile coverage at the time of the incident and that he had made and received calls from the area, but not to emergency services.

The hearing was put on hold earlier this year after the coroner heard evidence that Mr Kennedy had threatened to kill him in the weeks before.

Ms Ansell told the inquest that police had spent a considerable amount of time investigating the circumstances of the 42-year-old's disappearance.

Mr Kennedy had earlier told police that he had last seen Mr Mansell in the surf near Salmon Rock.

The inquest heard today that Mr Kennedy told police his friend went down to the water to free a snagged line, but then fell in and was washed away.

He said he had entered the water to try to save the Mr Mansell, but was unable to bring him to shore.

Ms Ansell told the court witnesses had detailed physical fights between the two men in the weeks leading up to the tragedy.

She said Mr Kennedy would overpower Mr Mansell and, in one incident, Mr Kennedy threatened to kill Mr Mansell.

The body of the Lady Barron resident has never been found.

Mr Kennedy will give evidence on Wednesday.

Inquest into disappearance of Flinders Island man recommences in Launceston Magistrates Court