Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.

West Coast river claims Pirongia kayaker

Sean Curtis on Teigdal River, Norway. Photo: Greg Clark

Pirongia kayaker Sean Curtis, 20, drowned on Wednesday 2 March after getting into difficulties on the Collier's Gorge section of the Whitcombe River. He was submerged for 20 minutes and was unconscious when recovered. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

In a statement on Friday 4, Whitewater NZ Safety Officer Shaun McCracken passed on the condolences of Whitewater NZ and the wider kayaking community. Shaun said, "It is our understanding that Sean and his team were well equipped with a high level of experience. Our thoughts are with the team Sean was kayaking with on Wednesday, and we thank them for the tireless rescue efforts they made."

Sean was a passionate kayaker who had kayaked in Norway and around NZ including Nevis Bluff, Huka Falls and Wainui Falls, and competed in events such as the Citroen Extreme Race (placing 4th in 2015)

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