Drowning on the Kawarau River

A kayaker drowned on the Kawarau River on Friday evening. He had paddled down into the upper reaches of the river from the lake, and his body was found floating in the river some time later by fishermen. At the moment, its not known how he came to be in the water. The Police and MSA are investigating.

NZRCA extends the condolences of the entire kayaking community to his family and friends.

Glenn Murdoch
Safety & Education Officer
NZRCA

kayneo's picture

I expect so. I never heard the reversal thing until this? I will stay with the Weir. Its universal in its understanding.

Much easier to understand "Look out for that massive hole at the bottom of that weir" Then "Try not to get caught by that reversal behind the feature"

I understand the whole reversal thing, but like words like retentive, sticky, flushy, mellow followed by hole better.

But thats just me.

nathan's picture

do you mean a weir?

tim0's picture

ian2's picture

A hole. Usually steepish and wide flowing back upstream from a reasonable distance.

mike9's picture

At the risk of sounding stupid what is a reversal. Ive never heard this term before

Glenn's picture

I am planning to talk to Marty Black in the next couple of weeks about putting a sign up. He is the Queenstown Lakes District Harbourmaster, so this is really his baby. If he won't do it himself, we can lobby the QLDC to do it, or even do it ourselves if we have to.

Glenn Murdoch
Safety / Education Officer

ian2's picture

Could we get a sign up Glenn?

Glenn's picture

Underneath the Kawarau Falls Bridge there are 10 channels separated by concrete walls. Some of these channels contain dangerous reversals. It appears that one of these reversals was the cause of last weeks accident.

If the channels are numbered 1 - 10 from true left to true right, channels 1, 6, 9 and 10 have dangerous reversals in them.

My recommendation is that people use the second channel from the true left to go under the bridge.

Another key factor in this accident appears to be that the kayaker was paddling alone. NZRCA recommends that you NEVER kayak alone.

Glenn Murdoch
NZRCA Safety / Education Officer
safety@rivers.org.nz