British tourist dies in Australian jetski crash


A British doctor holidaying in Australia was killed today in a jetski accident on the Gold Coast.

Dr Sridhar Shekar, 31, from Leeds, died this morning (local time) when his hired jetski hit the anchor chain of a boat and he was thrown on to a sandbank.

He suffered serious head and body injuries, and despite attempts by bystanders, could not be revived.

Shekar’s wife, 32, who was a passenger on the jetski, suffered minor injuries and shock in the collision, which happened at Broadwater, north of Surfers Paradise. The area is popular with tourists and water sports enthusiasts because of its calm, protected waters.

Local police said it was likely Shekar had never ridden a jetski before.

“Police are conducting an investigation into this matter and the investigation will reveal the exact circumstances surrounding this incident,” said the acting senior sergeant, Mark Kelly.

“This morning they hired a jetski from the hire company … and they were on that jetski when the incident occurred.”

Asked whether inexperience could have played a part in the accident, Kelly told reporters: ‘”It can be very difficult to drive a jetski. I believe the person, it may have been his first time on the jetski.”

Police said the boat’s owner was on board at the time of the fatal collision and was also treated for shock.

Jetskiing is popular in Australia, and companies that rent the high-powered watercraft to tourists are obliged to provide basic safety advice on how to handle the machines.

The Queensland premier, Anna Bligh, said state authorities would look into whether regulations on jetski rental should be tightened.

“We expect that our tourists will be involved in adventure and often sometimes quite risky behaviour, but we need to also satisfy ourselves that all reasonable care has been taken by the operator,” Bligh said.

“This investigation will assist us to determine whether we need to toughen up any of the regulation of this industry.”