DUBAI // A radio journalist has been killed and a colleague injured in a boat accident in the Seychelles.
Rebecca Davidson, 35, deputy head of programming and news at Dubai Eye, died after the small ferry she was travelling in collided with another vessel at 9.30pm on Friday, in darkness, in the channel between the main island of Mahe and Sainte Anne Island.
Davidson, from New Zealand, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Seychelles Hospital. Her colleague Lucy Taylor, from the UK, a news editor at the station, was injured. Her condition was said to be stable.
The two journalists were on a press trip to cover the third Seychelles annual carnival. Three other passengers on their boat were treated for injuries.
Steve Smith, chief operating officer at Arabian Radio Network, which owns Dubai Eye, said: "This is terrible news."
Mr Smith said the station had been informed of the accident last night and had notified the families of the two women. The station has also been in touch with Ms Taylor, he said.
A statement from the station said: "Rebecca was a wonderful individual who was full of life, admired hugely by her colleagues and well loved by all who knew her. Rebecca was on a press trip to the Seychelles to gather stories for the station in her own unique and innovative style.
Mahmoud Al Rasheed, the network's general manager, said: "We are one family at ARN and all of us would like to send our condolences to the family of Rebecca. She will be greatly missed by the entire team at ARN."
The Seychelles tourism ministry said the boat travelling to Sainte Anne Island with five foreign visitors and staff of the island resort collided with another boat coming from Cerf Island en route to Mahe with only the skipper on board.
Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration and the islands' police are investigating the accident.
"It is deeply regrettable that this tragedy has taken place, and we are ensuring that a full investigation is carried out", said Joel Morgan, the minister for home affairs and transport. "The safety of passengers using ferries between the islands is of paramount importance for our islands, and such accidents are rare.
"The investigation will reveal the exact causes of the collision and will enable the authorities to take appropriate action."
The minister for tourism and culture, Alain St Ange, and Mr Morgan met Ms Taylor and the other three survivors in hospital immediately after the accident to provide necessary support.
Davidson had worked for Dubai Eye for two years. Friends and former colleagues paid tribute to her yesterday, remembering her as a "fun" person.
"Rebecca was a joy to work with and fun to be around," said Kate Barry, a South African television producer who worked with her at Baynounah Media Group in Abu Dhabi.
"She was a talented, intelligent journalist with a wry sense of humour, and with her great singing voice even the daily commute to Abu Dhabi was something we looked forward to."
TVNZ, New Zealand's national broadcaster where Davidson had worked previously, paid her a tribute on their website.
The television channel said: "Before moving to Dubai, Davidson worked at TVNZ for six years from 1998 to 2004. She held a number of roles, starting as a researcher and newsroom assistant, before becoming a producer for Breakfast and Business and later the sole charge reporter for One News based at Rotorua."
Davidson had studied at Auckland University of Technology.