An elderly Spanish tourist has died after she was pulled from the water on the Great Barrier Reef.
The 76-year-old woman is understood to have been wearing a life jacket at Michaelmas Cay, a sand bank far 43km north-east of Cairns, when she ran into trouble at around 2pm on Tuesday.
Tour operator Quicksilver Connections said she had also been swimming in front of lifeguards when the drowning occurred.
An elderly tourist has died while she was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef (pictured) on Tuesday afternoon
The tour operator said the woman had been swimming in Michaelmas Cay (pictured stock image) when she ran into trouble
The lifeguards and an off-duty doctor performed CPR but could not revive her
She and 24 other Spanish tourists had joined the boat tour taking 80 people through the Great Barrier Reef, which has now made its way back to Cairns.
‘Our thoughts are with those affected by this incident and their families,’ a Quicksilver Connections spokesperson said.
‘We are meeting the boat as it docks and will reach out to the tour group leader to offer any assistance they need.’
The company says it takes guests safety ‘very seriously’ and that its staff are trained to respond to medical incidents.
‘We will assist the authorities in any way we can and work with them to ensure the safety of our region so visitors can continue to enjoy snorkelling activities,’ the spokesperson said.
The 71-year-old woman was on a boat tour (pictured Quicksilver’s catamaran boat tour) operated by the company with several other Spanish tourists before she died
Michaelmas Cay is a popular snorkelling spot (pictured stock image) and is a popular destination among tourists
‘Counselling will be provided to our staff.’
The woman’s death comes just two weeks after a 71-year-old South Australian grandfather also drowned at the world’s biggest coral reef.
Adrian Meyer had taken a tour with operator Reef Experience to Norman Reef, about 80km offshore from Cairns, when he was found unresponsive in the water.