A Japanese tourist has died while climbing Uluru – the 37th fatality at the site since record-keeping began.
Northern Territory Police say the man, 76, was attempting to ascend one of the steepest parts of the climb when he collapsed and lost consciousness about 4pm on Wednesday.
Park rangers were the first on scene and performed CPR until SES crews arrived. The man was flown to the health clinic at nearby Yulara, but could not be revived.
“A helicopter had to be utilised to retrieve this person and take him back to Yulara clinic, but unfortunately he passed away,” Duty Superintendent Shaun Gill said.
“This person’s believed to be a … Japanese national. At this stage, we don’t believe it’s anything suspicious.”
The climb has claimed 37 lives since the 1950s, with the last recorded death in 2010.
‘Too many people have died’
Climbing the sacred site will be banned from next year, after a unanimous decision by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board.
The board, made up of eight traditional owners and three representatives from national parks, made the decision after consulting with the wider Anangu community, which it said was overwhelmingly in support of banning climbs.
On its website, it has previously warned against attempting the trek.
“Too many people have died while attempting to climb Uluru. Many others have been injured while climbing,” it said.
“We feel great sadness when a person dies or is hurt on our land. We worry about you and we worry about your family.”
Traditional owners have asked visitors not to climb Uluru since the 1985 hand back. Signs requesting people reconsider climbing have been in place at the base of the rock since 1992.
The ban will begin on October 26, 2019, to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners.