22 May 2011

Pitcairn man dies during medical evacuation

9:58 pm on 22 May 2011

One of the men found guilty of rape during a high profile trial on Pitcairn Island has died of a suspected heart attack while being transported for medical treatment.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Tahiti was contacted on Saturday morning after Terry Young, 53, developed intense stomach pains which were thought to be appendicitis.

A nearby yacht responded to its radio call for help and was attempting to take him to safety when he died.

Young, 53, was one of six men on the island convicted for rape and indecent assault in 2004.

Chris Harrington, a spokesperson for the British High Commissioner in Wellington who also acts as Governor for Pitcairn Island, says its remoteness made rescue difficult.

He says the only way to evacuate someone from Pitcairn is by sea, as it's impossible to evacuate anybody by air.

Mr Harrington says Young had been recently paroled.