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."