Accident and Incident database, incident reports, safe practice, equipment, rescue techniques, river hazards, grading system, code of practice.

Czech kayaker drowns on Wairua river

[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.

Consent sought for jetboat on Kawarau

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.

ORC river works on Water of Leith

Kayakers are advised that flood protection works are underway on the Water of Leith from February to May 2014. Otago Regional Council (ORC) works are between the Dundas St Bridge and the Union St Bridge. Part of the works entails extensive work in the river channel and on the right bank of the river. The works would at times be a hazard for river users and kayakers. Warning signs have been placed upstream. Attached maps indicate warning sign placements.

Steel cable hazard on Granity Creek, Buller

Hugh Canard has passed on a warning regarding a steel cable hazard (incl. photos) on the Granity Creek section of the Buller River: 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.

WSNZ River Safety and River Rescue course subsidies available

River Safety and River Rescue Course subsidies of $100 are available to Whitewater NZ members, thanks to the generous support of Water Safety NZ. You can join a course organised by the NZ Kayak School or contact any NZOIA kayak level 2 instructor to run a course for you. Read Course details and subsidy forms.

River Safety and River Rescue subsidies available to Whitewater NZ members

Whitewater NZ are very pleased to announce that we have received funding from Water Safety NZ to subsidise River Safety and River Rescue courses for the 2011 Spring paddling season. Current individual and club members of Whitewater NZ can apply for a $100 subsidy towards an approved River Safety or River Rescue course by contacting Membership Officer Jo Dovey on

WaterSafety releases "Be RiverSafe" DVD and Toolbox

Water Safety NZ has released a "Be RiverSafe" DVD and Toolbox described as a mixture of information and suggested activities that can be used by teachers and leaders, young people and learners and anyone wanting to be river safe when they are enjoying an activity in, on or around a river. The resource includes online video of river features such as buffer waves, eddies, rapids and undercuts that are potentially useful for kayaking instructors.