Police say a New South Wales girl, 10, who died after being swept down a Fiordland creek, did not fall from a viewing platform following “incorrect” speculation.
The girl and her family had been on holiday from Australia.
Emergency services were called to the scene at about 11.40am yesterday after the girl was swept down the fast-moving Marian Creek in Fiordland National Park.
Her body was found and brought to land shortly after, according to police.
In an update today, Southland Area Commander Inspector Mike Bowman shut down “speculation” that the child had been on a viewing platform before the incident.
“Our investigation into the circumstances of this incident is continuing. We are aware of speculation that the child fell from a viewing platform, however, this is incorrect,” he said.
“The family has lost a young daughter and a sister, and we are doing what we can to support them. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and, understandably, they have requested privacy.
“Both police and Victim Support are working with the child’s whānau, and a police family liaison officer is keeping them up to date with the investigation.”
Yesterday, Bowman said a doctor was flown to the scene and CPR performed, but the 10-year-old was unable to be revived.
He described the creek as an “extremely fast-flowing, turbulent body of water”.
“A report will be presented to the coroner once the investigation is complete.”
‘Always distressing’ – Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation said it will carry out an internal safety investigation following the tragedy.
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and everyone involved in this tragic event,” DOC Te Anau operations manager Graeme Davies said.
“We’re not aware of any damage to the Marian Track following last weekend’s storm, and a further inspection yesterday confirmed there is no visible damage to any structures,” he said.
“Regardless, we’ll also be undertaking an internal safety investigation – which is our standard process following any serious incident.
“It’s always distressing to hear of tragic instances like this. We want everyone to enjoy these vast, wild spaces safely and our hearts go out to all involved,” Davies said.