Milford Track death devastates family
The family of an Indonesian woman who died in an icy river on the Milford Track has urged its caretakers to ensure she is the last fatality there.
Yessica Asmin, 22, was swept into the Clinton River on Monday while she was crossing a flooded creek.
Her body was found late on Wednesday afternoon, 48 hours after she was washed away in front of her partner Sean Mcnabb.
Her parents said they were devastated by the "immense" loss of their daughter.
They arrived in Invercargill today and formally identified her body.
They said they "hope those who look after the Milford Track take every step possible so this kind of tragedy does not happen again".
The family wanted to offer a special thanks to Asmin’s companions who attempted to save her.
Asmin was visiting New Zealand from Australia where she was studying for a masters degree in marketing at the University of New South Wales. She had been expected to graduate next month, they said.
They wished to thank everyone who helped in the search and supported them afterwards.
An official from the Indonesian embassy said Asmin’s parents accepted her death was a terrible accident.
"Yessica’s parents understand it was an unfortunate tragedy and are not looking to blame anyone. It was no one’s fault," the official said.
The official also confirmed Mcnabb’s family had arrived in Invercargill to be by his side at a time when he had "lost a part of himself".
Both families were able to meet up and talk with each other, the official said.
She described Mcnabb as being upset but also showing enormous courage and strength.
The Indonesian official said she did not believe the incident would damage New Zealand’s reputation as a safe tourist destination.
The Indonesian Embassy was working with police to to help Asmin’s parents get her home to Indonesia.
"We are assisting the family through a difficult time and organising to repatriate Yessica’s body back to Indonesia as soon as possible," she said.