17 Nov 2015

Two tourists drown off Rarotonga

9:54 am on 17 November 2015

Two tourists have drowned in the Cook Islands after they encountered difficulties while kayaking in a reef passage.

Pacific beach

Photo: RNZI / Mary Baines

Police say the pair, a male and female, were kayaking in the lagoon on the south-western side of Rarotonga when one of the kayaks capsized in the Ruataki passage.

Police say the male was unable to help the female and both were seen struggling to swim back to shore against large waves and strong currents.

The Ruataki passage is a notoriously dangerous deep channel with strong currents, with signs on a nearby beach warning people to avoid it.