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Report In To Fatal Rafting Accident Released

The Maritime Safety Authority has today released the report into a rafting fatality on the Shotover River, near Queenstown on 28 August 2001.

Miss Yoly Chi was on a combined Challenge Rafting/Queenstown Rafting trip when she fell from the raft and became trapped in the water between the raft and a boulder.

"The report concludes that prior to entering a rapid the raft hit a boulder, overturning and trapping Miss Chi", says Tony Martin, Acting Director of Maritime Safety

"The hydraulic pressure of the river flow on the raft, after it tilted, would have been considerable. This made it extremely difficult to extricate the raft from around the boulder", says Mr Martin.

The two rafting companies involved in the accident say that the Maritime Safety Authority is to be complimented on the thoroughness of the report.

"It provides a detailed analysis of the events surround this tragic accident," says Vance Boyd, Managing Director of Queenstown Rafting Ltd and Mark Quickfall, Managing Director of Challenge Rafting.

Mr Boyd and Mr Quickfall expressed the hope that the detail of the report would provide some answers for the victim's family.

"This tragedy deeply affected all of our staff, we understand fully the loss felt by Yoly's family which will no doubt be rekindled at this time. Our sympathy is with them," they say.

The report does not attribute any procedural failure to the rafting company or identify any specific fault on the part of the guide.

The Maritime Safety Authority will facilitate a workshop to discuss the various issues arising from this accident with key rafting industry representatives.

"It is important that the information gained from this accident should be shared amongst the rafting industry, to enable them to consider ways to minimise the risk of this kind of tragedy happening again," says Mr Martin.


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