River wave safety installed after near-drownings

Watch the video warning about leg leashes here.

Wave safety installed

The installation of rungs and safety lines at the Hawea River Camp Hill bridge, pictured, has been praised by the district’s harbourmaster.

The rungs, installed downstream on the bridge’s left pillar at popular white-water spot the river wave, are designed for users to climb up and across above the water to assist kayakers and surfers should they become stuck at the front of the pillar.

Commercial white-water kayak guide Ben Yates started the ball rolling on adding safety measures in the area following an incident in which a surfer nearly drowned there last month.

Ben said that those who frequent the wave should take a look and familiarise themselves with the new safety features.

Queenstown Lakes District harbourmaster Marty Black extended a special thanks to Ben for his work.

“While this work has obviously made the area safer we cannot guarantee the safety of all users, that is why users must not use the waves solo but always have a mate or two around,” Marty said.

“Wave users, especially surfers, should take note of how dangerous the practice of wearing leg leashes is and follow the guidelines on the video warning about leg leashes. They must not be worn.”

Marty added that warning signage would be in place as soon as possible at the river wave to give full details of the safety requirements for river surfers.

Watch the video warning about leg leashes here.

RELATED:   Wave safety call after near-drownings  (Wanaka Sun 13 April 2017)

RELATED:   River wave safety addressed  (Wanaka Sun 27 April 2017)

Image: Hawea Whitewater Park  Camp Hill Road bridge, Hawea River. Photo: Will Jackways 



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