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NZ tourist dies on snorkelling tour, Police investigate

Wednesday 22 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Health, National, New Zealand, Regional, Travel


NZ tourist dies on snorkelling tour, Police investigate
Avaavaroa Passage in Vaimaanga. BYRON BROWN / 24052121/24052122

A 49-year-old woman from New Zealand has been confirmed dead after being transported in an ambulance from the Avaavaroa Passage in Vaimaanga yesterday.

Police media/strategic advisor Trevor Pitt said the ambulance transported the woman, but she was unfortunately pronounced dead at the hospital.

Pitt said they received a call at 3.08pm.

The Avaavaroa Passage is a popular spot for turtle tours.

A turtle tour operator, while offering condolences to the deceased’s family, confirmed the victim wasn’t part of his tour.

Joshua Utanga of Snorkel Cook Islands stated that they were informed by their staff members that a middle-aged to late-aged lady displayed signs of shock and distressed breathing patterns while out on tour with another tour company.

Utanga said that upon returning to the beach, CPR was performed with another tour operator taking the lead, and the victim was then taken away in the ambulance after some time.

He added that while he sympathises with the operators and understands their frustration, the incident might have been prevented if there had been qualified personnel with expertise or lifeguards present.

Police media advisor Pitt said the matter is being investigated and witnesses are being spoken to.


Ricky Short on 23/05/2024

May she RIP and condolences to the family. The tour operators and/or government should look at having an AED (automated emergency defibrillator) somewhere near where the turtle tours take off (allowing access to all) as these are simple to use (they provide instructions once activated - hence "automated") and can make a real difference in cases of heart related medical incidents and also drownings. Not to say it would have altered the outcome in this sad case. But going forward, it would be worth considering - might help save lives.