ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Authorities say a world-class kayaker native to New Zealand has died in a weekend accident on a North Carolina river.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports 50-year-old Maria Noakes of Bryson City died Saturday as she paddled down the Cheoah River with her youngest son and two of his friends. All were considered expert paddlers. The family posted to social media that her boat was found pinned on the right side of the river, but they will never know exactly what had happened.

Noakes was a member of her country's national freestyle kayak team for many years.

The accident occurred about 3 p.m. on Saturday.

North Carolina Fish and Wildlife Commission officer Zach Allman says the cause of the accident is under investigation.