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[Updated 12:50pm] Czech kayaker Ladislav Švarc, 29 drowned on Saturday 19 July while running a waterfall near Puketitoi Rd in Northland. Švarc was boating with three friends on the Wairau River when he got into difficulties at the base of the falls. Despite being pulled from the water and given CPR he did not survive. Švarc was an experienced kayaker having run challenging sections on other North Island rivers.
Kawarau Jet Services Holdings Ltd (KJSHL) has applied for a resource consent (14MB, PDF) to extend its operation from the Arrow River confluence down to the Kawarau Gorge suspension bridge (the bungy bridge). This would mean they would run down through Smith’s Falls, on the first stretch of the Dogleg kayaking and rafting run on the Kawarau. KJSH are requesting unlimited trips with a fleet of 12 jetboats.
There is a steel cable in the top of the first class III rapid above Granity Creek rapid. This is the rapid that pushes right against the bank and has large boulders in the flow. The cable may be attached to a concrete block.