18 May 2011

UK inquest finds riverboarder died by misadventure

9:10 pm on 18 May 2011

An inquest into the drowning of a British tourist while riverboarding on a New Zealand river in 2008 has found she died by misadventure.

The two-day inquest by a jury into 21-year-old Emily Jordan's death was held in Smethwick in the West Midlands.

Miss Jordan drowned after becoming wedged under a rock while riverboarding with a group on the Kawarau River near Queenstown in the South Island.

At the jury inquest, the coroner directed the jury to return a verdict of misadventure.

Factors cited by the jury as contributing to Miss Jordan's death were lack of equipment, unsuitable lifejackets, inadequate training and the absence of rescue craft.

In 2009, Queenstown company Mad Dog River Boarding pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety Act, including failing to take all steps necessary to ensure Miss Jordan's safety.

The company was ordered to pay $66,000 in fines and $80,000 in reparation to Miss Jordan's family.