Lake users persist in not wearing lifejackets

The message is clear. Wear your lifejacket.

Following an incident last week in which a kite surfer was thought to be in trouble, causing a costly chain of events that involved the Coastguard and the police, it once again became clear that people do not always take the necessary safety measures on Lake Wanaka.

“It’s been an interesting month this month,” said Lake Wanaka Coastguard president Jonathan Walmisley.

“We’ve had a jet ski, a kite surfer and an inflatable kayak [problem], which we’ve all responded to. And if there was a  message I would like to put out, in two of those instances—the jet ski and the kayak—life jackets were not being worn.”

He said in the case of the kayak, that could have become “quite critical”.

Police would not reveal the name of the foreign-national kite surfer, nor the name of the person who alerted the police and Coastguard, for reasons of privacy.

But Walmisley said “lifejackets save lives. The water is cold, and the likelihood that you will drown is high.”


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