29 Jun 2012

Snorkelling operators warned

11:16 am on 29 June 2012

A coroner's inquiry into the death of a Christchurch man on his honeymoon says Cook Island snorkelling operators should step up their safety procedures.

Graeme Parker, who was 37, died while snorkelling in a lagoon at Aitutaki in October 2009.

Coroner Christopher Devonport found Mr Parker, who was obese and had diabetes, died from drowning and cardiac arrhythmia brought on by physical exertion.

But Mr Devonport also found the snorkelling operator did not meet basic safety procedures and staff were not trained in first aid or CPR.

He also says there were not enough staff onboard to help rescue Mr Parker when he got into trouble and passengers had to help instead.

Mr Devonport says it would give New Zealanders comfort if Cook Island snorkelling operators adopted safety standards similar to those of New Zealand and Australia.