S African girl dies during cycling tour in Vietnam’s Hoi An

By Staff reporters   December 10, 2017 | 08:26 pm PT
The teenager reportedly collapsed after saying that she was tired from half an hour of cycling.

A girl from Cape Town, South Africa died during a school trip to Vietnam’s popular resort town of Hoi An on Friday, reportedly after feeling tired during a bicycle ride.

African News Agency said that the victim, Shannen Rustin, was on a history tour of Southeast Asia with 31 of her 11th grade classmates, two teachers and one parent. 

On the mild and overcast Friday morning, the group left on a cycle ride around Hoi An in central Vietnam.

Some students reportedly had difficulty riding their bicycles and traveled on the back of scooters instead. Rustin was among them.

The report quoted Debbie Schafer, Minister of Education in the Western Cape, as saying that Rustin told a local tour operator that she felt tired after around 30 minutes of cycling. She was put on the back of a scooter with the operator, who said she was still “chatting and laughing with him”, Schafer said.

But when the group stopped at a bridge crossing for a rest 10 minutes later, Rustin collapsed.

She was rushed to a hospital six minutes away and received mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the way.

Emergency staff at the hospital continued trying to resuscitate her for more than an hour, but to no avail.

Her family has traveled to Vietnam to recover her body. 

Schafer said Rustin's death has been inaccurately reported by some media. Eyewitness News said the group was hiking in Sa Pa, a popular trekking destination in Vietnam’s northern highlands.

Hoi An, a bustling port town centuries ago, is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam and among the few peaceful tourist spots in the country that still offer a comfortable space for cycling.

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