Dark pool area a factor in Japanese aurora tourist's death
Kiyoko Nagasaki, 72, died in February at the Takhini Hot Springs near Whitehorse
Yukon's coroner is recommending a number of safety improvements following the death of a Japanese woman last winter at the Takhini Hot Springs, which is just outside of Whitehorse.
Kirsten Macdonald says efforts to give the woman who died and other tourists a better view of the northern lights contributed to her death.
Kiyoko Nagasaki, 72, drowned in the pool on a tour to view the Aurora Borealis.
She was wearing a heavy parka and snow pants with layers of sweaters, fleece clothing and insulated pants underneath.
At around 2 a.m., her tour group was in the parking lot taking photos of the northern lights. All of the lights at the hot springs facility had been turned out to allow better viewing. A row of tea light candles in the corridor leading to the pool were the only lights burning.
At around 2:30 a.m., a head count was done as the tour group was getting ready to depart. When the group realized someone was missing, they launched a search.
Nagasaki’s parka clad body was found floating in the pool at the end of the darkened corridor.
Macdonald says the practice of allowing people into the darkened pool will have to end. She says a complete risk assessment will have to be done.