Name release King Country Christmas Day double drowning

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Name release King Country Christmas Day double drowning

Utilising the support of Interpol and consular services, Waikato Police investigating the death of two overseas visitors at an isolated west coast beach on Christmas Day have completed their formal identification process.

Sergeant Craig Lindstrom of the Te Kuiti Police said emergency services were called to an area of Ruapuke Beach via Swann Access Rd about 5.40pm on Friday in relation to what was originally reported as being two people in difficulty in strong rip currents in the surf.

“Various rescue organisations arrived at the scene to find the incident in fact involved three people and bystanders were providing rescue breathing to one man who had been found in difficulty in the surf attempting to bring an unresponsive woman to shore.

“The resulting rescue and recovery operation resulted in a 30-year-old man being airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition while a second man’s body was recovered from the sea.”

Mr Lindstrom said he wished to express sympathy on behalf of the NZ Police to the friends and families of 38-year-old woman Xia LIU and 33-year-old man Ji Shun LI.

“Both parties were Chinese nationals who had been residing in Hamilton on work visas working on a large scale engineering project.

“Waikato Police have been ably assisted by a local Hamilton based colleague, a company representative and the Chinese Consulate in Auckland in liaising with the various families to repatriate the bodies of our victims home.”

Mr Lindstrom said to have such a tragedy strike on what is one of our country’s most significant festive occasions really brings home the importance of water safety.

“Like many isolated stretches of coast, Ruapuke Beach is not patrolled by lifeguards.

So far 100 people have died in the water this year with eight over the holiday period.

Of note none have died in areas patrolled by Lifeguards so the message is a pretty clear one, swim between the flags.”

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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