Motelier's bid to save woman in vain

Last updated 11:23 02/01/2014

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A Palmerston North woman who drowned swimming in a Tauranga motel pool had been staying there and swimming alone.

Catherine Michelle Hintz, 41, drowned despite the motelier's best efforts to revive her.

She been seen swimming alone at Cameron Thermal Motel at Gate Pa on Tuesday afternoon.

She was next spotted by the motel manager about 4.30pm, face down in the pool.

The manager removed her from the water and performed CPR for about 20 minutes before St John Ambulance staff arrived, Senior Sergeant Glenn Saunders, of Tauranga, said.

She was resuscitated but died at Tauranga Hospital about 11.30pm on New Year's Eve, Saunders said.

It was unknown exactly how long she had spent under the water.

Her death has been referred to the coroner.

Tauranga news website Sunlive reported that Ms Hintz was found at the bottom of the pool.

Acting Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson said there was nothing suspicious at the scene but police would investigate how she came to be lying there.

"We know the cause of death - that's pretty obvious - but the reasons why she's ended up at the bottom of the pool, whether she had a medical issue or not will be looked at."

The Bay of Plenty Times reported that Hintz was staying at the motel on her own and was booked in for a couple of nights. There was no one else in the pool area at the time.

It did not look as if the guest had hit her head, the manager said.

Another motel guest, James Schuster, said the first he knew of the incident was when the ambulance and fire engine arrived. "Some guy saw her at the bottom of the pool," he said.

"They were working on her for so long. We could see them pumping for at least 20 minutes. It was pretty scary really. It was actually more sad than scary."

One of the motel operators, who did not want to be named, said the motel was running as normal.

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- Manawatu Standard

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