Woman dies aboard luxury launch

DENISE PIPER
Last updated 16:14 12/04/2013

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A woman has collapsed and died aboard a private boat off Whangarei.

The woman was onboard the 60ft launch Aquila off Ocean Beach when she collapsed.

Police are still investigating the incident but Coastguard has commended the three other people on board the boat for their prompt action and ability to remain calm.

Coastguard operations manager Ray Burge said they did a great job under the circumstances

"Their use of a Marine VHF Radio enabled Coastguard to communicate directly with them and the rescue vessels responding to the scene. They communicated well and kept us updated when they could. They started CPR while they were waiting for someone to take over," he said.

"What happened here today is an absolute tragedy for the friends and family of the woman."

Coastguard's Operations Centre received a call on Marine VHF Channel 83 to say the woman had collapsed and was unresponsive at 10.25am.

Because of the seriousness of the event, two Coastguard rescue vehicles were dispatched - Tutukaka Rescue from Tutukaka and Circa Rescue from Whangarei.

"We made a decision to send both vessels just encase there was a delay in volunteers responding," said Mr Burge.

The Northland Emergency Services Trust helicopter also responded, getting paramedics on board.
Paramedics continued CPR for a time. When they decided to stop CPR the launch was escorted by Coastguard volunteers back to Marsden Cove Marina, where police and Maritime Operations were waiting.

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- Whangarei Leader

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