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Grief over two sudden tourist deaths abroad

January 9, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Authorities are investigating the moments leading up to the sudden death of an Australian man in a hotel room in Bali; while the family of a fit young New Zealand woman, who worked as an army medic, are devastated by the news that her body has been found floating near Phi Phi, off the coast of Phuket.

While the cases are entirely separate, united only by the grief of respective relatives and friends, they illustrate the challenges in finding the causes of sudden death overseas.

The body of 36-year-old Australian, Clinton James Dally, was discovered at Matahari Bungalow in Kuta on Saturday.

Dally was on holiday with his girlfriend, who told authorities they had been dating for three months. Dally was in apparent good health but he complained of a headache on Friday and drank a beer before taking a Panadol, his girlfriend said. On Saturday the couple visited the Kuta Art Market in the morning and returned to the hotel, when Dally felt a stomach pain and went to bed.

He was found unconscious in the hotel room in the early afternoon and was later pronounced dead. Police have found no evidence of foul play.

Dally’s body was taken to Sanglah morgue, 9News reported, and the Australian Consulate is working out whether the family wants an autopsy performed in Bali.

IN THAILAND MEANWHILE, the body of 24-year-old Renée Joy Hodgkinson was found floating near Phi Phi in Lo Dalum Bay, off the coast of Phuket.

Hodgkinson, from Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island, was a regular force member of the New Zealand Army and worked as a medic in the Medical Corps.

Local police say Hodgkinson was on the island with a tour group but had decided to stay on without the others.

Phi Phi Island Police Lieutenant Tanagon Tammakan said Hodgkinson is believed to have drowned while swimming on Wednesday morning.

“However, details are still under investigation,” Tanagon said.

He said a Burmese worker on a boat found Hodgkinson floating in Lo Dalum Bay and notified police.

A hospital examination revealed no signs of violence and doctors ruled the cause of her death as drowning, the Otago Daily Times reported.

Hodgkinson’s family say their world has been “shattered” by the news.

“Her loss will be widely felt throughout the NZDF [New Zealand Defence Force],” a NZDF spokesman added.

Written by Peter Needham

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