Incident 20040606

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20040606?, 6 June 2004 12:00?, Near-miss? / Other?
Victims?: NZ, 15, Female. NZ, 15, Female
Location?: Wellington/Waiohine/Waiohine Gorge/Above Walls Whare?

Class?: III
Flow?: Unknown, "Medium"
Boat Type?: Unknown/
Trip Type?: Private


A group of five young people set off down the Waiohine in the afternoon. Two females in the group had never kayaked before, and soon capsized. They refused to proceed and waited on a sandbank near Walls Whare while the other paddlers continued to a farmhouse and raised the alarm. Darkness fell and after four-and-a-half hours the pair were located and evacuated by the Westpac rescue helicopter and treated at Masterton hospital for hypothermia. 'The experience has put them off kayaking: I hate it. We're never going to do it again'


Ensure you have knowledge of the section and that it is appropriate for your level of experience (Recommendation 1.1).

Carry equipment for unexpected emergencies, especially spare clothes, food, survival blanket and torch (Recommendation 1.9 and Recommendation 3.12).

The experience should be positive, improve skills and stimulate enthusiasm for kayaking (Recommendation 3.14)

Winter conditions probably contributed to the negative experience; the same trip may have had a different outcome in summer conditions.

Trapped kayakers feared death, 8 June 2004, Michelle Quirke, Dominion Post

Reported by?: Jonathan Hunt
Created: 2005-01-10, changed: 2005-01-10.