“WHITEBAIT” Sept 29, 2012 19:34:38 GMT 10
Post by Deleted on Sept 29, 2012 19:34:38 GMT 10
Seizure may have caused whitebaiter drowning
The Greymouth Star | Wednesday, 05 September 2012
CORONER Richard McElrea has ruled that an epileptic seizure probably caused Westport woman Adrienne Dusseldorp to fall into the Waimangaroa River and drown last whitebait season.
The 49-year-old had been fishing near the river mouth on September 10, 2011.
She had been using a set net, which required her to wade knee-deep into the water to secure it.
A fellow whitebaiter observed her remove her trousers before wading into the water as the turning tide began to push big surges up the river. She appeared to be fiddling with her screen.
The witness’s attention was turned elsewhere and when he looked back Ms Dusseldorp had disappeared, but he assumed that she had just returned to the riverbank.
Next thing, he saw was two legs sticking out of the river some 20m away. Other whitebaiters dragged Ms Dusseldorp to shore and administered CPR until emergency services arrived, but they could not revive her.
The river was 50cm deep at her net and 2m deep in the middle.
Mr McElrea said Ms Dusseldorp had a background of epilepsy and there was no evidence of her struggling to get to shore.
“There are two possible reasons for her drowning,” Mr McElrea said.
“She may have been overcome by the forces of the river, causing her to become immersed. She may have suffered a medical event, which if it occurred was likely to be an epileptic seizure resulting in her immersion. On the balance of probabilities I find the latter to be more likely.”