Kayaker fatality on the Wairua River, Northland

Release date: 
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 00:00

In response to the drowning of kayaker Ladislav Svarc on Saturday the 19th of July while kayaking the Wairua River in Northland, Whitewater New Zealand would like to make the following statement:

Whitewater kayaking is a highly rewarding and challenging recreation. Any activity undertaken on water is inherently risky and good decisions must be taken to ensure the participant’s safety. This includes having the correct equipment, training, teamwork and having good information about the river & the conditions.

The kayaking community is saddened by the loss of Ladislav and extends our condolences and support to his family and kayaking team. Whitewater New Zealand has been in contact with members of Ladislav’s team and understands they were skilled and well equipped. They worked tirelessly in attempts to save him on the day.

Whitewater New Zealand along with its members and regional clubs provide information and training on the best river safety and rescue practices, which includes leadership and decision making. The www.rivers.org.nz website has information on the known sections of rivers that are commonly kayaked and includes recent changes to these rivers and new hazards. Whitewater New Zealand is committed to the promotion of kayaking in a safe and responsible manner.

If you require more information please go to our website or contact either of the officers below.

Matthew Bennett President
+64 (21) 819 886

Shaun McCracken, Safety Officer
+64 (27) 742 6693

About Whitewater NZ

Whitewater NZ works to protect and conserve rivers, improve opportunities for kayakers to enjoy our whitewater resources safely, and protect public access to rivers for recreational use. We are the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater resources throughout New Zealand. More information on: rivers.org.nz.