21 November 2005

Australia: Japanese tourist dies on trip to Great Barrier Reef

A 67-year-old Japanese tourist has died on a dive trip on the Great Barrier Reef, police say.

Police said the man had indicated to a friend that he was going to surface off Hastings Reef near Cairns in Queensland's far north about 10.40am (AEST) on Sunday.

His friend told police the man had dived and was snorkelling on the surface before lapsing into unconsciousness.

Boat staff tried in vain to revive the man. Paramedics flown by chopper to the scene also could not save him.

The man's relatives in Japan have been notified.

Police said a post mortem would be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Dive Queensland spokesman Col McKenzie said the tourist had extensive diving experience and may have suffered a heart attack.

"He was wearing a computer and we've had a look at the computer information and it shows he made a perfectly normal ascent with no warnings and with plenty of air left in his tank - I mean it's hard to think what else it could be," he told ABC radio.

Source: news.ninemsn.com.au


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