Theresa Ralogaivau www.fijitimes.com - Sunday, November 15, 2009
AN American tourist snorkeling in Qamea waters in Cakaudrove was killed after he was hit by a speeding boat.
The tourist, who was billeted at the Qamea Island Resort, was out alone snorkeling when the boat hit him at around 2pm on Friday.
Northern Police Commander, Senior Superintendent Luke Qionibaravi confirmed the 47-year old man died in an area frequently navigated by boat operators.
"We are trying to determine why there were no precautionary signs displayed," he said.
"In this regard we will also interview resort management about the safety measures they employ for tourists who are out snorkeling. This tourist was snorkeling in a passage of water that is usually used by boat operators because of the little rocks or coral reefs around."
The resort manager could not be reached for a comment.
The 27-year old boat operator from Vatusoqosoqo Settlement is in the custody of Taveuni police.
"He was returning home from Nukubale Settlement when the incident happened," SSP Qionibaravi said. "According to the operator he was speeding along when he felt something hit his engine. He couldn't see anyone so he headed back to shore and informed other residents that he felt he had hit someone.
"Islanders returned to the spot and searched for the tourist and found his body floating nearby."
This is the second boating accident in Qamea waters this year.
SSP Qionibaravi said the death has been relayed to the tourist's family in the US