Aussie tourist killed in New Zealand rafting accident

An Australian man who died during a rafting trip in New Zealand’s South Island has been identified as 31-year-old Joshua Paroci.

The NSW man was one of six Australians on the raft, which overturned on rapids at Skippers Canyon near Queenstown on Saturday.

New Zealand Police on Monday publicly identified Mr Paroci.

He lost his grip as the raft was being towed to a bank and was swept through another rapid, according to Totally Tourism, owners of Challenge Rafting. He was brought to the shore but attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The 31-year-old lost his grip on the raft operated by Challenge Rafting at Skippers Canyon. Source: Getty (file photo).

“We believe everything was done by the book and standard procedure but the outcome was certainly something we did not expect,” general manager Tim Barke told Radio NZ.

He said overturning rafts were not unusual for the grade of the river and that customers were given equipment to ensure their safety.

Another person on the vessel was moderately injured and flown to Lakes District Hospital, while the rest of the group were helicoptered out and returned to Australia on Monday morning, the company said.

The raft overturned on rapids at Skippers Canyon near Queenstown on Saturday. Source: Getty

Weather conditions were good during the trip and two other rafts on the same route had not overturned.

Maritime New Zealand and the coroner are also investigating.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Yahoo7 News that they were providing consular assistance to Mr Paroci’s family.