British tourist dies in kayaking accident in New Zealand

Death was confirmed by Foreign Office are providing support to the family

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The Independent Online

A British tourist has died while kayaking in New Zealand.

The unidentified individual, reported to be a man in his early twenties by local newspapers, was one of two men who died kayaking on Lake Tekapo, in Canterbury, on Friday.

He is believed to have been part of a group of 11 tourists travelling around the country who had met at the popular tourist destination in South Island.

Nine people were treated for hypothermia after they were pulled from the icy waters when their kayak capsized following a dramatic change in weather, local police said.

Two were reportedly in a serious condition having been taken to nearby Timaru Hospital, although the New Zealand Herald later said their condition had stabilised.

The accident is thought to have occurred when a 40mph squall of wind hit the kayak.

“The boats were swamped and they were tipped into the water,” Police area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin told the newspaper.

“The air temperature when it happened was about 3 degrees and the water wasn't much warmer than that and they were in the water for about an hour”.

He continued the nine were “lucky to be alive” and said the survivors were “obviously extremely distressed.”

The Foreign Office confirmed the death of a Briton. In a statement they said they were “providing support to the family” and were in contact with the New Zealand authorities.

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