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2 more deaths...

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:23 pm
by Rob
"Two men have died after a sudden turn in the weather caused waves to swamp their kayaks, tipping them into the icy cold water in Lake Tekapo this afternoon.

The pair, believed to be visiting from overseas, were part of an eleven-member group that had gone out onto the lake." ... d=11519019


Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:48 am
by Fishless
Got my dry suit on the way from the UK, safety first!

Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:17 pm
by kea999
Harsh lesson very cold water temp reported guess the survival time would be short would need to get out of the water pretty quickly unless wearing appropriate attire . An hour wearing a 5 mm wetsuit in winter 12 degree water free diving is enough for me

Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:19 pm
by Mac50L
There are a lot of links to news sources, some badly written, some a little better.

The link given (first message) says "hit by a north westerly" - no, it was an easterly or SE, 180 degrees wrong

"He said it was about three degrees in the water" - no NIWA says it will be 6 C, end of September (not that it makes much difference if you get dropped in it).

The news item indicates/says they were all in the water for an hour. Errr?

It does appear they launched after 2.00 p.m. There is a photo on one news source and the date stamp (meta-data) on it indicates this is so.

Piecing things together it would appear they were probably to the S or SE of the island when the wind got up. Six made it to (ran downwind to) the island and a double and a single landed on the west shore somewhere near where Lake MacGregor comes out. Those on the island probably had a smoker in the group and they lit a fire to keep warm. Supposedly the 2 who died were found 2 km apart and that would indicate they were following those who got to the west shore. The mayor of Tekapo was reported to say it was freak conditions - rubbish, a normal wind which got up in the afternoon. Nearby places, Twizel and Pukaki had air temperatures of 15 C around 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. (source private weather stations on the web) despite some news sources saying the air temperature was 3 C.

The message is, if in a group of inexperience paddlers, raft-up and run. You might not get where you want to but you are likely to hit land and not die.

Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:14 pm
by Murdoch
Sad very sad.

Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:52 am
by dedant
A year or more back there was a "Safety Audit" and certification/registration system imposed by OSH or someone, There was some disscussion about costs being prohibitive for some guiding operations . The outcome was to offer hire only non-guided services.
Maybe IF there was a possibly "un liscenced" but experienced guide , this tradgedy could have been avoided?
A well intentioned law that had the opposite result ?

Just my thoughts,

Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:01 am
by MikeAqua
Suppliers of equipment have a legal responsibility to ensure it is used safely, and that includes proper safety equipment.

If I hire a weed whacker, I have to sign a bit of paper saying I have and will use chaps, boots and a face guard.

If kayaks are hired, they should come with PFDs, and a handheld VHF. On a lake 6-C above freezing, they should come with a dry suit too.

Re: 2 more deaths...

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:16 pm
by Pronto
Mac50L wrote:The message is, if in a group of inexperience paddlers, raft-up and run. You might not get where you want to but you are likely to hit land and not die.
This is the key here, but unless you are training each group that you hire kayaks to then you are taking on board some risk. I'd hate to be in the business of hiring out kayaks for this reason.

I've been fortunate enough to do a couple of formal sea kayak courses and expeditions. Each time we practiced things like rafting up as quickly as possible, group rescues, and individual self rescues before we went anywhere with wind or current. Hire businesses are never going to have the resources to do all of this, so if people choose to go outside the safety/distance limits that the company sets then the risk increases massively - and it takes incidents like this to make people appreciate why those companies will set safety limits/distances that may seem overly restrictive to a novice.

We deliberately practiced one group rescue in strong current with a little wind where we all went in the water at the same time and all within 50m. By the time everyone got back in their boats some were spread over 1km away. With a bit of wind, I'm not suprised at all that they were spread over 2km.