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Experience Co Ltd shares down 12% following skydive tragedy

In early trade the Experience Co Ltd (ASX: EXP) share price has been one of the worst performers on the local share market after emerging from its trading halt.

The adventure company’s shares were down as much as 12% to 75 cents at one stage but have now recovered slightly and are down 8% to 78 cents.

What happened?

This morning Experience Co advised that there was a tragic incident at its NZONE Skydive operation in Queenstown, New Zealand on Wednesday.

According to the release, a man from the United States is missing, presumed drowned, after landing in Lake Wakatipu.

His tandem master was rescued from the lake and is reportedly recovering well, however, ongoing recovery operations have thus far failed to locate the missing man.

The company is co-operating fully with investigating authorities, including Queenstown Police, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, and the Civil Aviation Authority. It voluntarily suspended local operations immediately after the incident.

This is the second incident that has occurred in less than three months following the tragic loss of three lives in a skydiving accident on October 13 at the company’s Mission Beach operation in Queensland.

What now?

As we have seen with Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) and its Dreamworld theme park, events like this can weigh heavily on a company’s performance for some time.

However, taking a step back from this tragedy for a second, the market moved on from its previous incident reasonably quickly and presumed there to be limited impact to its business performance. In fact, the Experience Co. share price was only recently trading at an all-time high.

Whether this proves to be the case this time, only time will tell.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Experience Co. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.