NZ woman died due to medical issue – Cook Islands Police

A 49-year-old New Zealand woman died from a heart-related medical issue experienced during a snorkelling tour at Avaavaroa Passage in Rarotonga, a Cook Islands Police spokesperson says.

On Tuesday, police received an emergency call shortly after 3.08pm Cook Islands time Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time).

A spokesperson told RNZ Pacific the woman was responsive at the incident site at Avaavaroa Passage – which is a popular tourist attraction for swimming with turtles – but was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The spokesperson said the woman had difficulty breathing soon after entering the lagoon and was taken ashore for CPR and died at hospital.

Avaavaroa Passage is a popular tourist spot for swimming with turtles but is known for dangerous currents.

In December, a 50-year-old New Zealand man died in Avaavaroa Passage.

The majority of turtle tour operators in the Cook Islands have agreed to safety and environmental standards which are part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cook Islands Tourism.

It requires tour operators to have one guide for every four guests in the water.

The agreement also includes a provision to only run commercial tours on weekdays and need to seek approval from local landowners to run non-commercial tours on weekends.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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