Cape Town schoolgirl collapses and dies in Vietnam

2017-12-10 17:02
(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Cape Town - A Cape Town school girl collapsed and died on a history tour to Vietnam, the Western Cape Department of Education confirmed on Sunday.

"We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Shannen Rustin, a Grade 11 learner from Westerford High School," said Education MEC Debbie Schafer.

"My deepest condolences go to the Rustin family, friends and Westerford Community."

She said Rustin's family rushed to Vietnam and a psychologist was also sent over to help.

Schafer said Rustin was part of a history tour of South East Asia by 32 Grade 11 pupils from the school between December 3 and 19. They were visiting Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and were chaperoned by two teachers and a parent.

According to the tour leader Gordon Brookbanks, on Friday morning the tour party left on a cycle ride from near their hotel in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Some pupils had difficulty riding a bicycle so they travelled on the back of scooters.

After around 30 minutes of cycling, Rustin indicated to the local tour operator that she was feeling tired of cycling.

"Shannen stopped cycling and travelled on the back of a scooter with the tour operator, who reported that Shannen was 'chatting and laughing' with him," continued Schafer.

They stopped to rest and take photos at a bridge at about 09:10. Brookbanks was reportedly called and told Shannen had collapsed.

He told the tour operator to take them to the nearest hospital which was six minutes away.

On the way there he attempted mouth to mouth resuscitation.

"Emergency staff at the hospital reportedly tried in vain to resuscitate Shannen for over an hour.
"Shannen's family were immediately informed when Shannen collapsed and of her subsequent passing," said Schafer.

Her family will be supported by Westerford staff in Vietnam and the tour will continue in her memory.


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