Several members of a cruising community were among those who rushed to the aid of a New Zealand toddler who fell off her parent’s boat in Fiji.
Mahina Toki was believed to have been strapped into a harness on the deck of the boat on Friday, which was docked in Musket Cove.
The New Zealand Herald reported that the 13-month-old was watching a movie while her parents Mark and Kiri were cooking dinner in the galley.
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When they went back to the deck, however, the little girl was gone.
She was later found in the water and could not be revived.
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Musket Cove Resort manager Joe Mar said several people rushed to the family’s aid to help; however, it was too late.
“The family rushed into shore to seek help and a lot of people rushed to their aid, but unfortunately couldn’t revive her,” he told the Herald.
The family were on a yacht cruising rally with Island Cruising New Zealand, a cruising operation company for Kiwis who want to sail around the country and the South Pacific.
They had only arrived at Musket Cove on Wednesday.
Owner of the cruising company Viki Moore said several of the rally members were among those who tried to help.
“They did all they could to help them,” she said.
Mahina Toki had been on a cruising rally with her parents in Musket Cove, Fiji. Credit: Givealittle
A post on the Island Cruising NZ Facebook page said medical professionals “scrambled” to save the child.
“Paramedic, doctor, two nurses and a midwife as well as all the equipment, medication and oxygen that you would have in hospital,” the post read.
“Some of the rally participants who were in the area stepped up to help too. Sadly despite all of their best efforts, she did not make it.
Moore told the Herald around 85 boats were on the rally to Fiji.
A fundraiser has been set up for Mahina’s parents by a member of the cruising group.
Grace Palos wrote that the toddler was tethered to the boat but had “worked free” and “found the water”.
“By the time we could find her, it was too late,” she wrote.
Palos said Mahina was “a beautiful, happy, smiling child” who loved life on the boat.
“Her mother, Kiri, said she had eyes that looked into your soul from the day she was born,” she said.
“Mark and Kiri are in the process of picking up their lives and travelling back to their home of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.”
More than $A28,331 has been raised so far.
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