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Accident and Incident database, incident reports, safe practice, equipment, rescue techniques, river hazards, grading system, code of practice.

Pinned in the Whataroa River


Firstly I want to thank all of the people who rescued me - Barry, Sue, Louis, Ellie, Stu, Diego, Yan, Ciccio, Colin and Pete - without their help I would certainly have drowned. The actions of Louis from Wellington and Pete (both of whom I only met at the put-in) were critical to my rescue and without question courageous - they risked their own safety getting out to me and I am very grateful to them.

It's the third day after the event and I don't particularly like writing this because it brings back the vivid memory of being close to losing my life - it was a very bad pin situation. However I think it is important to do so because there are lessons in every incident that may help others and hindsight observations can be helpful. Hopefully, it may also be somewhat cathartic. It happened like this...

Submissions sought on ACC 'Drowning Prevention Strategy'

[18 January] The ACC has launched public consultation on the Drowning Prevention Strategy. Drowning is the third highest cause of unintentional death in New Zealand, surpassed only by road vehicle crashes and accidental falls, and water safety is an issue for all kayakers.

Drowning Prevention Strategy Submission

The NZRCA's submission on ACC's Drowning Prevention Strategy was compiled by Jonathan Hunt.

NZRCA-approved River Safety and River Rescue courses

The NZRCA has once again received a Water Safety NZ subsidy for club and individual members attending NZRCA-approved River Safety or River Rescue courses. Both courses are subsidised at $60.00 per person.

NZRCA refutes 'cartel' accusation

NZRCA president, Robin Rutter-Baumann, was interviewed on Morning Report today, by Sean Plunkett, about the Coroner's inquest into the fatal kayak accident on the Buller River in 2002. The NZRCA has issued a Media Release (PDF, 60k), refuting claims that the kayaking industry acted like a "closed cartel" during the Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) inquiry.

Risk Recreation

Tony Ward-Holmes examines some of the issues arising from the drowning of a polytechnic student on the Buller in 2002, including the role of the MSA and expert advice.

Criminal Nuisance Prosecutions in Recreation: Cause for Concern?

Dr Pip Lynch (Senior Lecturer, Outdoor Education, Lincoln University) discusses safety management in recreation and the legislation relating to criminal nuisance as it applies to recreation organisers.

British paddler drowns on Crooked River

[30 March] NZPA report (temporary link) a 19 year old British paddler drowned on the Crooked River on Monday 29 March. Apparently, the victim fell out [of] her kayak, was trapped by a rock and drowned. One of her companions walked out through bush to raise the alarm, and another paddler was found by rescuers in the night. The body was recovered by helicopter around 10am this morning.

Submission on 'Rock A', Rangitaiki River

Duncan Catanach compiled the NZRCA's submission to Environment Bay of Plenty regarding proposals to remove "Rock A" from the Rangitaiki River.

Submission on Jetboats on the Hawea River

NZRCA submission to the Environment Court regarding jet boats on the Hawea River, compiled by Glenn Murdoch
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