French Polynesia town to pay compo over drowning

7:01 am on 14 October 2017

A French Polynesian municipality has been ordered to pay $US200,000 over the drowning death of a paddle boarder 6 years ago.

A tropical beach scene on Moorea in French Polynesia

A tropical beach scene on Moorea in French Polynesia Photo: Copyright: mvaligursky / 123RF Stock Photo

An appeal court ruling in Paris has upheld the complaint by the paddle boarder's family that the commune of Moorea had been negligent in warning about the risks at the reef passsage at Haapiti and that it had failed in its rescue efforts.

La Depeche de Tahiti said when the paddle boarder signalled he was in trouble, his partner on the beach immediately alerted the rescue services but their boat was not operational.

A helicopter was then called to try to save the man but by the time it arrived, he had drowned.

The Moorea municipality had first been convicted in 2013 but it successfully appealed only to have the verdict quashed by the supreme court over a formal flaw.

The latest court ruling is for Moorea to pay the partner and their child each $US100,000.