The Australian Department of Defence has named a special
forces soldier who fell to his death on Aoraki/Mt Cook
He was Sergeant Gary Francis, a father-of two.
Sergeant Francis died during a mountain and cold weather
training activity on the mountain's Grand Plateau when ice
gave way and he fell into a deep crevasse.
The 44-year-old was posted to Sydney-based 2nd Commando
"It would not be appropriate for defence to comment or to
speculate on the circumstances surrounding Sergeant Francis'
death while inquiries are underway," the Defence Force said.
A team-mate was lowered down the 30-40m crevasse to retrieve
him using a pulley system.
"The soldier was recovered by his colleagues who administered
first aid," the Department of Defence said in a statement
"Sadly, they were unable to revive him and the New Zealand
emergency services later declared the soldier deceased."