A Japanese tourist estimated to be in his early 60s tragically died yesterday (January 28) while walking the Milford Track on New Zealand's South Island with one of the country's best guide companies (http://www.ultimatehikes.co.nz).
The man was with a group of 31 people and three guides crossing the McKinnon Pass about when he collapsed on the trail. CPR was promptly administered, but the man could not be revived. Subsequently, he was medically evacuated by helicopter to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
COMMENT: The tourist seemed to be traveling alone and had booked his walk through a local travel agency. It is believed that an autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.
Unfortunately, we continue to see many sudden deaths such as the one described above. Although it is not known whether the decedent had cardiovascular problems that might have contributed to his death, it is essential that all foreign travelers over the age of 40 should have a thorough cardiovascular workup before traveling abroad where they will be involved in physically demanding recreation.
It is far better for them to know the state of their health before they leave home than to suddenly face a health crisis while abroad.
The Milford Track is a widely known hiking route in New Zealand, located amidst mountains and temperate rain forest in the Fiordland National Park in the southwest of the South Island. The trail is commonly known as "The Finest Walk in the World," a phrase often attributed to New Zealand poet Blanche Baughan.