Tragedy | 

Tributes paid to Dublin woman Eve Parkin who drowned in New Zealand

Parkin was well known as a hugely competent swimmer having completed several gruelling events

Eve Parkin

Daragh Keaney

Tributes have been paid to an Irish mum of one who drowned off the coast of Kaikoura near her home on New Zealand’s South Island.

Eve Parkin, 56, grew up in Dublin, and swam all year round as a child before moving to New Zealand and setting up a new life.

In recent years, the local business woman spent most days swimming in the stunning waters around her adopted home of Kaikoura..

But, tragically on Tuesday evening she never returned home to her husband Digby and son Sam and was declared missing.

Police, search and rescue, and Coastguard helped search for her, and found her body in the water about 11am on Wednesday.

A local police spokesperson said Parkin’s death would be referred to the coroner.

Despite several drownings happening each year at the popular tourist trap, locals are deeply saddened and shocked as Parkin was well known as a hugely competent swimmer having completed several gruelling events.

She and husband Digby owned the Peketa Beach Holiday Park for several years from 2001 to 2017 and she was actively involved in the community as a member of the Lions Club of Seaward Kaikoura.

Parkin was also a member of the Kaikoura Information and Tourism Industry committee for many years as a tourism operator.

She has been described as a vibrant, colourful friend with boundless energy.

Neroli Gold was a fellow committee member, a long-time friend, and also a member of the Coastguard team that searched for Parkin. She remembered her as a vibrant, colourful friend with a great sense of humour and boundless energy.

“We had Eve and Digby over for dinner on Saturday night and have such wonderful memories of a night of laughs and stories,” she said. “Eve will be forever swimming.”

Gold said it was a very difficult search for Coastguard Kaikōura as, like in any small community, several members of the unit knew the couple, she said.

“We are just very grateful we were able to bring Eve home to Digby and son Sam and Coastguard Kaikōura would also like to acknowledge the support and expertise the local commercial fishing fleet continues to give us in such times.”

A celebration of Eve's life will be held at the Carmelite Monastery in Christchurch next Monday.

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