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Dive and snorkelling death review panel

The dive and snorkelling death review panel was established in April 2019.

The panel reviews dive and snorkelling fatalities and provides advice and recommendations when requested by the investigating Coroner.

The panel:

  • informs the coronial investigation into snorkelling and diving fatalities through independent advice and assistance
  • focuses on the cause of the fatality
  • identifies preventative measures
  • reassures the community when the fatality is from natural causes
  • provides advice on specific issues requested by the Coroner.

The panel is made up of industry and medical experts.

Panel members

Dr Paull Botterill
Dr Botterill is a Senior Staff Specialist Pathologist at the Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services at Cairns Hospital. He has extensive experience in conducting autopsies and examining, drowning and water related fatalities in Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Samoa.

Dr Christopher Jelliffe
Dr Jelliffe is a Medical Director at the Townsville Hyperbaric Medicine Unit. He has had an interest in diving medicine for over 30 years and has been an active scuba diver in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Dr John Lippmann OAM
Dr Lippmann is the Founder, Chairman and Director of Research for the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Asia Pacific. He is currently the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Diving Safety Foundation (DAN Asia Pacific Foundation). Dr Lippmann received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to scuba diving safety in 2007. He is the author of various publications including journal papers about diving safety.

Dr Kenneth Thistlethwaite
Dr Thistlethwaite is the Co-Director of Hyperbaric Medicine Service at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. He has provided medical diving advice and treated diving emergencies in recreational and commercial diving industries since 2004. Dr Thistlethwaite is also a volunteer for the Divers Alert Network (DAN) and the Divers Emergency Service medical advice line since 2014. He enjoys scuba diving as a hobby.

Dr Stephen Vincent
Dr Vincent is a consultant thoracic and sleep physician at the Cairns Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. He also works in a private capacity providing medico-legal services and is an Independent Medical Examiner for WorkCover Queensland.

Mr Robert Schutte
Mr Schutte is the Lead Inspector (Diving) for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. He has had extensive experience in the Queensland diving industry for over 29 years. Mr Schutte has managed a large diving company and holds several occupational diving qualifications.

Mr Rod Punshon
Mr Punshon is a PADI Master Instructor and has been involved in the Queensland diving industry since 1982 as a diving instructor and operator. He has received two awards for 'Outstanding Contribution by an Individual Award' from PADI International. Mr Punshon has also served on various diving and tourism related advisory committees.