Victim?: NZ, 37, Male
A club group, made up of a mixture of experienced, intermediate and beginner paddlers, successfully completes a morning descent of the Hawea River.
During the afternoon descent, near the end of the trip, the group becomes separated. When everyone assembles at the take-out, it is realised that one beginner paddler is missing. A search is commenced and the paddler, still in his kayak, is found pinned below the surface, against a tree.
It is unclear how the accident occurred because there were no witnesses.
It is vital that at all times the whereabouts of every paddler is known. Clubs and commercial groups can operate a buddy system (where paddlers look out for each other in pairs), and to have an experienced 'tail-end charlie' who is the last person off the river.
Jonathan Hunt, Glenn Murdoch
Created: 2004-01-19, changed: 2004-01-19.