Tourist from Italy dies in rock climbing fall in New Zealand

An Italian tourist died Monday after he fell 50 meters (165 feet) at a popular rock climbing area on New Zealand 's South Island , police said.

Umberto Cantamutto, 27, of Via Pagno, Italy , was climbing with his Spanish girlfriend when the accident happened at Hospital Flat, on the outskirts of the farming and tourist town of Wanaka .

Police sergeant Aaron Nicholson said Cantamutto was scaling a rock climbing wall when he fell to his death.

He said Cantamutto and his girlfriend were keen rock climbers who had arrived in New Zealand in October 2005 and were planning to return home in June.

"The couple had been in Wanaka for about two weeks and had been working and living locally," he said.

Ambulance staff tried to revive the fallen climber at the base of the rock face for some time before pronouncing him dead.

Nicholson said initial inquiries indicated Cantamutto fell as a result of human error as opposed to equipment failure.

He was the fourth tourist to die in an outback incident on South Island in recent weeks.

Wanaka is some 800 kilometers (500 miles) south of the capital, Wellington , reports the AP.


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