Incident 19740706

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19740706?, 6 July 1974 12:00?, Fatal accident? / Swim?
Victim?: NZ, Male
Location?: Manawatu/Lake Horowhenua?

Class?: 0
Flow?: Unknown, "Medium"
Boat Type?: Kayak-Touring/Fibreglass 'Penguin' kayak
Trip Type?: Private

Summary?:

A young man purchased a kayak on Friday evening (5 July), and apparently put-on to the lake at Lake Horowhenua Domain on the Saturday morning (6 July) in calm conditions. He was wearing a green jersey and black trousers, and no life-jacket. He paddled to the far shore, then headed south. There was no wind till 10:30am, but the wind steadily increased to 18kmh between 11am and 12pm, with a gust of 36kmh at 11:40am.

His vehicle was noticed on early on 7 July at Lake Horowhenua Domain, and a police search commenced on Monday 8 July. The kayak was found partly-full of water at the north-west end of lake. Separately, the paddle was found on 7 July. The body was found on the lake on 21 July. The retailer of the kayak said spray-skirt had not been purchased with the kayak but was on order.

Discussion?:

This is a clear case of a person's enthusiasm overwhelming their better judgement, and where inexperience led to a fatal error of judgement.

The NZRCA recommends that kayakers don't paddle alone.

Let someone know what you are planning and when you are expected to return (Recommendation 1.4)

Wear an approved buoyancy aid (Recommendation 1.5).

Wear and/or carry sufficient warm protective clothing for the trip (Recommendation 1.7).

Think carefully about the suitability of your boat for the particular river (or lake) conditions (Recommendation 1.24).

Sources?:
Deposition by Neville Blair, 6 September 1973.

Reported by?: Jonathan Hunt
Created: 2004-05-09, changed: 2004-05-09.