Victim?: NZ, 21, Male
Location?: Canterbury/Opihi/Below Hanging Rock?
A group of friends put into the Opihi River at Hanging Rock and paddled down the river. At a point where the river narrows and the water speed increases, a paddler spotted a steel stake in the river. He attempted to paddle away from the stake but capsized and was washed against the stake with the stake lying across the cockpit, preventing him from exiting his boat. His head was above water.
His companion(s) contacted two local fishermen who came to assist. One of the fishermen donned a bouyancy aid and waded out to the trapped victim. He was able to wriggle the boat free from the stake. The victim swam to shore unassisted. His boat, but not his paddle, was recovered.
The kayaker may have had insufficient experience to avoid the obstacle (Recommendation 1.21).
The victim may have been unable to roll in time to avoid the obstacle (Recommendation 1.16).
The hazard was visible from upstream but the victim failed to avoid it (Recommendation 1.23).
Lucky Kayaker Praises Timely Rescue, 5 December 2006, Emma Bailey, Timaru Herald.
Created: 2006-12-05, changed: 2006-12-05.