Tourists Injured in Queenstown Jet Boat Crash, Another Died Swimming With Dolphins

Five people in a party of fourteen were taken to hospital when a Shotover Jet boat collided with a cliff wall near Queenstown yesterday at 3pm.

Among the inured are people from Germany, the United States, Britain and New Zealand.

It’s thought that another seven people sustained minor injures and that the boat was damaged in the collision on the Shotover river upstream from Tucker’s Beach.

Coverage of the crash in Scene stated all 14 passengers were treated by ambulance officers at the beach and four Queenstown residents and a 60 year old American man were taken by ambulance to Lakes District Hospital at Frankton.
The ODT gave slightly more information about the four locals who’d been taken to hospital

“…the conditions of those taken to hospital were at the “minor end of moderate” and they were being treated for spinal injuries, chest trauma and whiplash.

The four Queenstown locals were three females, two aged 20 and one aged 59, and a 26-year-old man.

A report in today’s Herald newspaper said this was the latest in a long line of adventure tourism accidents in New Zealand:

In September 2008, *Chinese tourist Yan Wang, 42, was killed when a jetboat operated by Kawarau Jets flipped over in the Shotover River.

Earlier that year, English tourist Emily Jordan, 21, drowned while river-boarding on the Kawarau River.

Other fatalities in heli-skiing and bridge-swinging prompted the Government to outline measures to improve safety in the industry.

In August, Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson announced a proposal for a compulsory registration scheme.

Under it, every commercial operator would have to sign up and pass a safety audit, which would be repeated periodically.

At present, there are health and safety requirements and external safety audits, although the latter are voluntary…read the full report here

During five years (July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2009) 39 people died in NZ in what are recorded as workplace activities. But the actual number is likely to be much higher as recreational deaths were not included. (source)

*Chinese tourist Yan Wang died when the Kawarau Jet boat she was a passenger in flipped at the confluence of the Shotover and Kawarau rivers and she was trapped beneath the boat. Seven other people were injured.

The driver of the boat was charged with driving a ship in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk to others but was found not guilty. Read Two different jet boat trials, two different verdicts.

Died Swimming with Dolphins
A few days before Swedish tourist Anita Engman, age 56, drowned whilst swimming with dolphins in the sea off Kaikoura on Saturday 20 November 2010, she was on organised event with Encounter Kaikoura.

She had been on holiday in New Zealand with her husband and friends from Sweden.

Three other people have been killed while swimming with dolphins or whales in New Zealand, at the time of their deaths this activity was not governed by any guidelines or standards. Among them was American tourist Emily May Parker, from Denver Colorado, who was found face down in Marlborough Sound whilst on a tour with Dolphin Ecowatch Tours in October 2009

According to an article published in the Marlborough Express neither Maritime NZ nor the Department of Labour were to make any investigation into Ms Paker’s death. Even though the coroner’s investigation had yet to be completed they believed that her death was from “natural causes” and that it was a “police matter”.