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Victim's Dad Pleased With River Boarding Company's Guilty Plea

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 24 NZPA - The father of an English tourist killed while river boarding in the Kawarau River Gorge last year is pleased adventure tourism company Mad Dog River Boarding today pleaded guilty to two charges relating to her death.

Emily Jordan, 21, drowned in April last year when she was trapped under a rock underwater for 20 minutes while her boyfriend watched from the riverbank.

The company and its director, Brad McLeod, were facing three charges each of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of their customers, employees and other clients , brought under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Today in Queenstown District Court three charges against McLeod and one against the company were dropped, and the company pleaded guilty to the remaining two charges.

Sentencing is to take place tomorrow.

The court was told last week that Mad Dog guides carried no ropes and the company's safety plan was not up to industry standards.

Guides from another river boarding company retrieved Ms Jordan's body within minutes, using rescue ropes.

Ms Jordan's father, Chris, who has sat through the court hearings, told Radio New Zealand a guilty plea was "obviously good news".

He had hoped to see a conviction and "hopefully see some changes taking place with regard to the way river boarding in particular was run -- and to some other extreme sports in general.

"To just reduce the horrendous deaths that occur in some of these extreme sports would be my primary aim, my primary reason for coming over (from Britain) this week."

Mr Jordan said hearing some of the details about how his daughter died was not easy, particularly given "the preventable nature of some of the things that happened".

"I think that's what's really come home to me, how preventable this death was."

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