Incident 19870315

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19870315?, 15 March 1987 17:00?, Fatal accident? / Entrapment-Tree?
Victim?: NZ, 37, Male
Location?: Otago/Hawea?

Class?: II+
Flow?: cu , "High"
Boat Type?: Unknown/
Trip Type?: Club


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.

Reported by?: Jonathan Hunt, Glenn Murdoch
Created: 2004-01-19, changed: 2004-01-19.