Natalie Wood was so scared of water that she would never have tried to get into a dinghy voluntarily before she drowned, her sister has claimed.
The coroner's ruling, based on accounts from the actress's husband Robert Wagner, outlined how she had fallen into the sea after attempting to secure the small boat, but that finding should not be believed, Lana Wood said.
The West Side Story actress had developed a deep-rooted fear of water ever since her mother warned her as a child that she would meet her death by drowning in 'dark water', Lana Wood told TMZ.
She said: 'It gave Natalie a great fear. She hated the water, she wouldn't even go into her own pool at home.'
Coroner's officials at the time wrote that Ms Wood was 'possibly attempting to board the dinghy and had fallen into the water, striking her face.'
Lana Wood, also an actress best known for her part in Diamonds Are Forever, had never believed that her sister would have tried to sail herself at night, even after drinking for several hours.
The 65-year-old also claimed that the actress's husband left her to drown on the night of her tragic death.
In an emotional interview Lana Wood said that when Natalie was in the water, Wagner, who she calls RJ, had forbidden the captain from helping her and said: 'Leave her there, teach her a lesson'.
Speaking to TMZ, she claimed Dennis Davern, captain of the Splendour yacht from which Ms Wood fell and drowned in 1981, told her what Wagner had said.
Lana told TMZ: 'He (Dennis) said that everyone was quite drunk and that a fight broke out and that Natalie was in the water and he and RJ did nothing to pull her out.
Actress: Ms Wood is most famous for her role in the 1961 film West side Story with Richard Beymer
A MYSTERY THAT HAS ENDURED FOR 30 YEARSWhat we know
On the night of November 29, 1981, Ms Wood fell off the yacht 'Splendour' off Santa Catalina island, southern California.
She was found in the seas about a mile away from the yacht, with a dinghy nearby.
An autopsy found two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek, and bruises on her arms.
Before her death she had been drinking.
What needs to be answered
Did she have an argument with her husband?
Who was the last person to see her alive?
Did anyone see her fall?
Thank you so very much PIC...I did read between the lines.