Child dies in Taieri Mouth boating accident

By Te Ao - Māori News

Police are investigating the death of a child following a boating tragedy near Taieri Mouth in Otago.

A small outboard motor-powered boat was carrying a family of five, when it was flipped by a wave while attempting to cross the Taieri Mouth bar on Saturday afternoon.

Nearby surfers rushed to help along with local residents.

A little girl was trapped inside the overturned boat and was rescued by one of the surfers.

Two surfers, both believed to be doctors, performed CPR on the girl on top of one of their surfboards as a local resident on his jetski towed them ashore.

The surfers continued CPR on the beach until a rescue helicopter arrived. The surfers also helped the rest of the family ashore.

A police spokeswoman said one of the children died in Dunedin Hospital and another child remained in intensive care in a stable condition.

Two adults and a third child were released from hospital yesterday.

Police were making inquiries about the incident on behalf of the coroner, and were focused on supporting the family, the spokeswoman said.

The boat has been recovered and Maritime NZ has also started an investigation.

Local iwi placed a rahui around the Taieri Mouth until 9am today.

Police recognised help of the people who came to the aid of the boat occupants yesterday, rescuing them and providing first aid. “This included surf lifesavers, off-duty doctors, and members of the public who happened to be in the area,” a police statement said. “We wish to thank all those people for their assistance and acknowledge the distress they may be feeling.”