A de­tec­tive and good mate

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

DEB­BIE JAMIESON

The Aus­tralian man who died in a raft­ing in­ci­dent near Queen­stown was a de­tec­tive se­nior con­sta­ble with the New South Wales po­lice force.

Joshua Paroci, 31, was one of a group of six Aus­tralians raft­ing on Satur­day af­ter­noon with Chal­lenge Raft­ing on the Sho­tover River when they over­turned near the Toi­let Rapids.

Com­pany spokes­woman Tse­hai Tif­fin said Paroci was be­ing brought back from the far side of the river when he lost his grip on the res­cue rope and was swept to the next rapid.

He was helped by a safety kayaker through an­other rapid and then to shore, but lost con­scious­ness and could not be re­vived.

NSW po­lice Com­mis­sioner Mick Fuller said Paroci would be missed.

‘‘The hard­est part of my job is when we lose one of our own and my thoughts are with De­tec­tive S/C Paroci’s wife, who is also a po­lice of­fi­cer, fam­ily, friends and col­leagues,’’ he said in a state­ment.

‘‘De­tec­tive S/C Paroci was well re­spected by all those who knew him, and the po­lice fam­ily will rally around his loved ones dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.’’

It was the sec­ond death on the same sec­tion of the river within two months af­ter guide Keith Haare, 62, also known as Chief, died from a med­i­cal event in late March.

It was not un­usual for rafts to over­turn on grade four or five rivers, like the Sho­tover, Tif­fin said.

An­other mem­ber of the same group was in­jured and was flown to Lakes Dis­trict Hospi­tal for treat­ment. The rest of the group were flown out by he­li­copter and all flew back to Aus­tralia on Mon­day morn­ing.

Chal­lenge Raft­ing worked closely with Queen­stown Raft­ing, whose gen­eral man­ager, Luke Tay­lor, said he and his staff were dev­as­tated.

‘‘Our hearts go out to our guests and the fam­i­lies of those in­volved in this,’’ he said.

Queen­stown Raft­ing and Chal­lenge Raft­ing have vol­un­tar­ily sus­pended op­er­a­tions on the river un­til fur­ther no­tice.

NSW child abuse and sex crimes squad Com­man­der, De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent John Ker­latec, de­scribed Paroci as a great man and an ex­cel­lent de­tec­tive, who would be sorely missed by the team.

‘‘Pro­fes­sion­ally, Josh was a tire­less worker; ded­i­cated to in­ves­ti­gat­ing some of the most heinous crimes against chil­dren,’’ he said.

‘‘His pas­sion was jus­tice for vic­tims. Not only was he a po­lice of­fi­cer, he was com­plet­ing a law de­gree, which he in­tended to use to cre­ate bet­ter out­comes for young vic­tims.

‘‘Josh was in­spi­ra­tional, and ev­ery­where he worked, he turned col­leagues into mates; to­day, we mourn the loss of our good mate.’’

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