Victims?: NZ, 25, Female. NZ, 25, Male
Location?: Bay of Plenty/Mangakarengorengo/To McLaren Falls/First Culvert/Ford across river?
Group of four experienced kayakers put in at roadside and kayaked all rapids down to flat section where river flows through a culvert (becomes a ford at paddled flows). The river did not flow completely over the culvert with places where it only went under. Two kayakers approached center river, the other two attempted to cross over river right. The two to the right collided with each other and broached leaning downstream against the culvert. One kayaker lost his paddle and was sucked under culvert. The second kayaker is also sucked under and forced to swim before going under culvert, followed by her boat. First kayaker is flushed out downstream and swims out of boat conscious. Second kayaker and boat flush out downstream.
The other two kayakers had started to out before the victims went under and by the time they were out of their boats the victims had flushed out. All gear and people recovered.
Hazard very visible from upstream, group were very experienced and skilled, but were casual about the potential for danger.
Artificial hazards pose unfamiliar risks to kayakers. Learn to recognise river hazards (Recommendation1.27).
Created: 2007-08-29, changed: 2007-08-29.