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?, 20 February 2017 19:00?, Injury incident? / ?
Victim?: NZ, 25, Male
Location?: Waikato/Tauranga Taupo/Kiko Rd to SH1/Tauranga Taupo Falls?

Class?: IV+
Flow?: cu , "Medium"
Boat Type?: Kayak-Creek/Unknown
Trip Type?: Private


A kayaker ran the 25m Tauranga Taupo Falls, landing badly, ending up unconscious and submerged. His companion in the pool below the falls retrieved him and successfully administered CPR.

The two kayakers continued downriver, eventually stopping in darkness to light a fire. The uninjured kayaker walked approx. 5km on forestry roads before cellphone reception enabled contact with emergency services. The injured kayaker was extracted by helicopter winch around 3am.


The team was experienced and had run the waterfall previously.

Late start to trip (~3:30pm) meant nightfall before extraction.

CPR was successfully applied (Recommendation1.17).

The group did not have a PLB, so rescue was delayed.

Location of the uninjured kayaker was assisted by their headtorch, and the riverside fire helped locate the injured kayaker (Recommendation1.9).

Kayaker speaks out on waterfall accident, 23 February 2017, Rotorua Daily Post.
Mate saves kayaker after waterfall plunge, guides chopper for night rescue, 21 February 2017, Stuff.
Wet, cold, injured and coughing blood: kayaker in hospital after accident on river, 21 February 2017, NZ Police.
Extreme whitewater kayaker rescued from central North Island river after attempting treacherous waterfall plunge, 21 February 2017, NZ Herald

Reported by?: Jonathan Hunt
Created: 2017-03-11, changed: 2017-03-11.

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