“On 16th August our father, Martin Ellis, of London UK, met his death at the Sir John Compton Dam as a result of a terrible incident. We, his three sons, were with him. Our mother, who is severely disabled, had remained at home in England.
Our father loved to walk and to explore. Guidebooks, maps and TripAdvisor indicated the dam and nearby bird sanctuary were worth a visit.
We, the three boys and our mother, wish to thank all who helped us, both on the day and to get back to London.
We would like to thank Anne Moy, who was working on site and came to our aid when she heard us shouting for help; the staff and management of St James Club Morgan Bay who were so kind and sympathetic, particularly Alvin the Duty Manager who found out where we were and collected us from Victoria Hospital; Claire Coleman from the office of the British Government Representative, Michelle from AXA insurance and John the Tui Holiday Representative. Between them, they got us home.
We do not accept that we accessed a clearly restricted area of the dam or that we were in any way notified before or on arrival that we had to secure prior permission to visit the site. Indeed, we were shown where to park so as not to be in the way of other vehicles on the site.
We hope that in time the facts leading to the death of our father will be established. We also trust appropriate measures will be taken to avoid similar tragedies in the future.
Finally, we hope that someone reading this can help to locate our father’s wedding ring, lost during the journey from the dam to the Victoria Hospital, either in the ambulance or where people alight from ambulances and walk into the hospital.
It is a heavy gold ring with beaten white gold between slightly raised gold rims top and bottom. Tristan, especially, is distraught because he thinks it fell out of his bag.
Please, please can whoever found it, return it to us via St James’s Club Morgan Bay? We will gladly pay a reward. It is a one-off piece, made especially for him. Our father wore it for 33 years and it is the one item of significance that we cannot replace.
With our thanks,
Lucian Ellis (19), Tristan Ellis (16), Piers Ellis (14) and Amy Silverston, Dartmouth Park, London NW5.”