Lower Hokitika claims Christchurch kayaker

Vladimir Filipovic, President of the Whitewater Canoe Club, writes: "On Sunday 18 November 2001 a kayaker, Rod Banks, drowned while kayaking the lower reaches of the Hokitika River. Mr Banks was part of a group of experienced kayakers from the Whitewater Canoe Club. When Rod got into difficulties a determined effort was made to rescue and revive him. Tragically the rescue efforts failed. The other kayakers on the trip were very distressed by the accident. The Hokitika river is a popular destination for kayakers and the group had run this section previously.

The White Water Canoe Club and the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association are working with the authorities [Police and MSA] while they complete their investigation processes. Rod was a father of two and worked in the local outdoor centre Canoe and Outdoor World. We would like to extend our very deepest sympathy to Rod's family and friends at this time."