The Australian tourist who died during a rafting accident on the Shotover River in Queenstown has been named as Joshua Paroci from New South Wales.

The 31-year-old Paroci died on Saturday after he lost his grip on a rescue rope after the raft carrying a group of six Australian tourists and their guide overturned.

Emergency services were called to Skippers Canyon shortly after 4pm on Saturday.

The raft guide and a safety kayak guide used routine rescue procedures to help the rafting passengers to the bank.


Paroci needed CPR shortly after, and a defibrillator was used. Despite the guides' attempts to resuscitate him, he died shortly after.

In a joint statement at the time, Queenstown Rafting and Challenge Rafting said they had voluntarily suspended rafting operations.

The two companies had worked together to promote the event.

Paroci's raft had overturned at the "Toilet" rapid around 3.45pm, they said.

The rapid was about three quarters of the way through the rafting trip.

The two outfits said rafts overturning was not unusual for grade 4 to 5 rivers.

Queenstown Rafting General Manager Luke Taylor said he and his staff are devastated by the incident.

"Our hearts go out to our guests and the families of those involved in this. Both our companies wish to offer the group our sincere condolences and ongoing support."


Police would continue to make inquiries on behalf of the coroner.

Maritime New Zealand would be assisting in this inquiry, as well as conducting its own investigation into what happened.