Christchurch woman Helen Margaret Wood dies in 'tragic accident' while whitebaiting
Helen Wood had just taken the trailer off her car when it slipped into the river – with her inside.
Emergency services received reports a car drove into the river at Kairaki Beach, north of Christchurch, about 9.45pm on Friday.
When they arrived at the scene, they found the car submerged. The driver was found dead a short time later, police said.
Helen Margaret Wood's death notice was published on Monday.
Canterbury rural area commander Inspector Peter Cooper said her death was a "tragic accident".
He said it appeared Wood had backed her trailer onto the beach and got out of her car to remove it. It was unclear how, but the car ended up in the river with Wood inside.
"The car was submerged and she was unable to get out."
Cooper said track marks were found on the bank, about 20 metres from where Wood's car was found. No-one saw the car enter the water, he said.
Wood, a registered nurse for 45 years, died "doing what she loved [whitebaiting]", the death notice said.
Christchurch Hospital acting director of nursing Debbie Hamilton said Wood was a "well-respected and popular" member of staff.
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of her sudden passing. Helen's career with us spanned 40 plus years and she will be missed by her colleagues and staff across the campus who worked alongside her."
It is understood Wood was a short-term resident of the Kairaki Motor Camp, who went whitebait fishing on the weekends.
A private cremation for the mother-of-two and grandmother-of-one has already been held.
A memorial service will be held at the Canterbury Crematorium Chapel on Thursday at midday.