AN Australian tourist is dead after two boats collided in Mamanuca waters on Friday.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri confirmed that an Australian tourist died as a result of injuries he suffered when the boat he was travelling in collided with a fiberglass punt ferrying a group of musicians from Mana Island Resort to Tavua Village on Malolo Island in the Mamanucas.
He said police and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji were investigating the incident.
According to witness accounts, the fiberglass punt operator did not see the other vessel when it smashed into it at top speed.
The tourist is believed to have come on holiday with his family to Mana Island and was on a leisure trip when the accident happened.
According to police, the man was sitting in the front of the hotel boat when the punt ferrying the musicians rammed into them. Insp Sokomuri said no other people were injured in the incident. The operator of the punt ferrying the musicians has been questioned by the police.
Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Elizabeth Powell said the incident was regretful.
Ms Powell said the government was doing all it could to support the family of the deceased.
The management of Mana Island Resort opted not to comment on the matter when contacted by The Sunday Times yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji said in a statement that preliminary investigations into the accident had started.
The authority advised vessel owners and operators to be alert when out at sea, especially in dangerous weather conditions.