A Japanese tourist has died on the Great Barrier Reef, making this the 4th person to pass away on the reef this month. The elderly woman was pulled from the water in Moore Reef, Cairns at about 2pm. She was then given CPR but unfortunately could not be revived.
There have been 10 deaths on the Great Barrier Reef this year, which is more than double the marine tourism industry standard. The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators has stated that most of the victims who have passed away had pre-existing medical conditions, but tweaks to the regulations are being looked at.
Spokesmen Col McKenzie said that although snorkelling is on many people’s bucket lists, there are risks and there needs to be an assessment of the recent events.
“While we are very proud of the fact we have the safest snorkelling in the world, we’ve got to sit down and have a really close look at all these events and see if there’s anything we can do,” he said.
Although McKenzie is aware that changes need to be made within the industry, it is important to be aware that age discrimination isn’t involved.
“We’ve got to be very careful that we don’t discriminate by age or take a reactive position when that’s not justified.
“I think it’s possible that we could bring in place a rule that says that everybody over a certain age has to acknowledge that they have been told of the risks associated with snorkelling and diving.”
In the meantime, no substantive changes to the regulations have been made.