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A 29 year old male from the United Kingdom who had been working as Doctor at Dunedin hospital for the past 6 months died today as a result of a jet boating accident on the Matukituki River, near the Mt Aspiring National Park.
Constable Mike Johnston of the Wanaka Police said that Paul Joseph Woods a 29 year old doctor from England had been a passenger in a private jet boat with four others when it flipped on a braided section of the Matukituki River above the junction with the East branch of Matukituki River.
The jet boat that rolled was in a group of three jet boats and they were travelling down river when the accident occurred. The other jet boats were not involved in this crash.
All the occupants of the jet boat were thrown from the jet boat which came to rest upside down and facing back up stream on a gravel bank between two braids.
Preliminary inquiries indicate Mr Woods was thrown from the jet as it flipped and has rolled on-top of him. Mr Woods was confirmed dead at the scene.
Two other passengers were flown by rescue helicopter from the riverside to Dunedin hospital with serious injuries to one of the passenger's leg that was pinned under the flipped jet boat and a female passenger suffered a hand injury.
Police wish to thank the members of the public who were in the vicinity when the accident occurred and assisted the victims with first aid as well as being able to roll the jet boat off the leg of the trapped passenger.
The area is in a remote location and it was due to expert help from these members of the public as well as staff with pre hospital med training from a canyoning operation nearby, were able to stabilize the injured passengers as well as deal with people suffering the shock of this tragedy until emergency services arrived.
Emergency personnel from Wanaka Search and Rescue, Wanaka St Johns, the Lions Rescue Helicopter & Police attended the incident and assisted in the recovery of the survivors and the deceased.
Police have informed the next of kin of Paul's death.
This matter has been referred to the Coroner and Police will be continuing an investigation in the cause of this incident while working along side Maritime Safety officers who are also conducting an investigation to ascertain the cause of this tragedy.
Police wish to remind people to play it safe while boating, in particular during the holiday period when there are considerably more people on the rivers and lakes.
Issued By: Team Leader Julie Brown