The American tourist who was found face down in the water whilst swimming with dolphins in Marlborough Sound on Tuesday has been named as 27 year old Emily May Harper from Denver, Colorado. Please see this article for further details.
Initial postmortem results suggest that she did not die from drowning and her boyfriend told the press that as far as he knew she was fit and healthy. Her death was especially tragic as he’d only proposed to her a few hours earlier and had yet to give her the engagement ring he’d picked out for her.
Our thoughts are with him and the couple’s families and friends for their terrible loss.
Ms Harper’s death, sadly, is one of a number of adventure tourism related tragedies to have beset New Zealand in recent years. Other fatalities have included British woman Emily Jordan who died when she became trapped underwater whilst riverboarding, Paul Woods A doctor who died jet boating, Brett Singleton and Anton Woitasek died when their jet boat collided with two jet skiiers on the Kawaru River, Yang Wang a Chinese tourist who died whilst jet boating, British woman Katie Bond who died in a quad bike expedition, a Skytrek hang-glider Andrew Michael Scotland and his passenger Argentinean Gerado Bean were killed near the Remarkables, Catherine Peters died when she fell from the Ballance Bridge Swing and six high school students and a teacher drowned whilst canynoning with an outward bound centre.
A safety review of the adventure tourism industry is supposed to be currently underway following calls for improvements by Chris Jordan (father of Emily Jordan who died whilst river boarding) He called NZ’s safety regulations no better than “third world”
The review is fully expected to take some time as there was “no time frame in mind“. We can only hope that the review does not take too long and that no one person’s safety is compromised in the meantime.