Freak Beach Accident Claims Life of Environmental Leader

Rainforest Action Network head dies on vacation

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013  |  Updated 2:48 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Remembering Whitney Houston

Getty Images

Actor Chris Noth and acting Executive Director of RAN Rebecca Tarbotton pose for a photo during the 25th anniversary party for Rainforest Action Network at Le Poisson Rouge on April 29, 2010 in New York City. Tarbotton, 39, died Wednesday while on vacation in Mexico.

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

A major environmental activist and leader died in a "freak accident" while on vacation in Mexico, according to reports.

Rebecca Tarbotton, 39, of Oakland, was executive director of the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network. She was on vacation near Puerto Vallarta when she collapsed after playing in rough surf. The cause of death was water inhalation; she died of asphyxia, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Tarbotton was the first woman to lead the Rainforest Action Network, and successfully lobbied Disney this year not to use paper from endangered rainforests or areas in conflict, the newspaper reported. It was called "the most historic victory" in the group's history.

She worked for Rainforest Action Network for six years, after an eight-year stint in northern India and other activist roles in the United Kingdom and California.

A native of Canada, Tarbotton leaves behind her husband, Matteo. Public memorial services will be held in both San Francisco and in Vancouver.
 

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out