Incident 19631116

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19631116?, 16 November 1963 11:00?, Fatal accident? / Swim?
Victim?: NZ, 37, Male
Location?: Wellington/Otaki?

Class?: III
Flow?: Unknown, "High"
Boat Type?: Kayak-Touring/PBK27
Trip Type?: Private


A party of seven put-on at Roaring Meg junction with the river dirty and rising. Shortly into the trip a paddler capsized, but held onto his canoe. He separated from the canoe and washed through three rapids. He was unconscious when another paddler reached him below the third rapid. The rescuer tried to lift him across the cockpit and tie his 'lifeline' around him, but in the face of an oncoming, turbulent rapid was forced to let the swimmer go.

The rescuer waited at the bottom of the rapid but did not see the swimmer again. Three capsized canoes came down. After a further wait, the rescuer climbed out to the road and met up with the rest of the group. They alerted the police at Otaki, and a search was set in motion. The body was found the next morning, around 5km below the last sighting.


Be aware of the additional hazards in flooded rivers (Recommendation 1.25)

Otaki Gorge Trip, 16 November 1963, Duncan Miller and Don Hoten, Kupe[?] Canoe Club.

Reported by?: Duncan Miller
Created: 2004-05-09, changed: 2004-05-09.