A woman tourist, Vianca De Visser De Vries, 42, from Holland was drowned at Padas River after being thrown off a raft that she and her husband Abraham Eleisser, 42, was on at Pangi, about eight kilometres from Tenom on Tuesday. The woman was believed to have hit her head on a hard object causing her to be unconscious and swept away by the rapid water.
She and her husband, together with four other tourists from Macau at 2pm went whitewater-rafting from Pangi to Rayoh, some five kilometres downriver when the incident happened at 4.10pm.
About three kilometres down the river, their raft overturned sending all on board into the river. All the tourists, including their guide Ailir Rudasill were wearing life jackets. Except for Vianca, the others managed to swim to safety.
Ailir and Abraham went searching for Vianca whom they found floating about 200metres from where their raft overturned. The body was brought to the Tenom District Hospital about 8pm last night.
The Padas River is one of the popular rivers in Sabah for whitewater-rafting activies. The other frequent by foreign and domestic tourists is the Tuaran River, just about 40 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu.