Kiwi journo dies in African boat accident

Last updated 15:27 09/02/2013
Rebecca Davidson
Rebecca Davidson, a former reporter for TVNZ, in November, 2002.

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A Kiwi expat died after a tragic boating accident this morning off the coast of Africa.

Rebecca Davidson, a 35-year-old journalist working for Dubai Eye Radio, was travelling from Seychelles to a resort on Sainte Anne Island, according to a statement from the Seychelles government.

The Republic of Seychelles is an island country 1500 km east of mainland Africa.

The boat Davidson was travelling on, which was carrying five visitors and resort staff, collided with another boat coming from Cerf Island, another resort in the region, around 9.30pm Seychelles time yesterday, resulting in a serious accident.

Davidson sustained major injuries during the collision, and died upon arrival at the Seychelles Hospital.

Four passengers were taken to hospital, and one, from the UK, was admitted for observation. Her condition was described as stable.

The Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration and local police had started a formal investigation into the collision, according to the government's statement.

Joel Morgan, the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, said it is "deeply regrettable" the tragedy took place.

"The safety of passengers using ferries between the islands is of paramount importance for our islands, and such accidents are rare," he said.

"The investigation will reveal the exact causes of the collision and will enable the authorities to take appropriate action."

Seychelle's minister for tourism and culture Alain St. Ange said he sent his deepest condolences to Davidson's family, friends, and colleagues.

"We are saddened by the loss of the life of Rebecca, and the trauma suffered by everyone else onboard," he said.

"We are doing everything to provide support to the affected passengers and their families."

According to Davidson's Linkedin profile, she was working as the head of programming for radio station Dubai Eye, in the United Arab Emirates.

Before moving to Dubai, she worked for TVNZ in several roles, as a journalist for One News, a producer for Breakfast, and started out as a researcher and newsroom assistant.

Davidson studied at Auckland University of Technology.

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