US state senator drowns in Rarotonga while trying to save brother-in-law

A US state senator on a family reunion in Rarotonga has drowned while trying to save his brother-in-law, who also died.

He is Republican state senator from South Dakota Craig Tieszen, 68.

Sources from Rarotonga told 1 NEWS the senator's brother in law Brent Moline, 61, had got into difficulties after capsizing a kayak outside the reef in Avana Harbour.

Senator Tieszen attempted to help him, but both men drowned.

Police emergency services were called and they went out in a zodiac where they recovered the bodies of both men.

The family will repatriate them back to the US.

South Dakota Senator Craig Tieszen
South Dakota Senator Craig Tieszen Source: sdlegislature.gov