Japanese tourist dies on Great Barrier Reef

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands.
An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - An elderly Japanese tourist has died after being pulled from waters in the Great Barrier Reef while snorkelling, Australian police said on Wednesday (Dec 14), the fourth fatality at the popular tourist spot in a month.

The 75-year-old woman was snorkelling at Moore Reef some 40km from Cairns on Tuesday afternoon when she was "pulled unresponsive from the water", a Queensland Police spokesman told AFP.

The crew on the boat she was travelling on started CPR but she died shortly after, the spokesman added.

The incident followed the death of a 60-year-old English tourist while diving on Agincourt Reef off the popular resort of Port Douglas last month.

His death came just days after two French travellers in their 70s with pre-existing medical conditions perished while snorkelling in the same area.

More than two million people visit the reef every year, generating more than A$2 billion (S$2.1 billion) in tourism revenues, according to the government.