Waikato river drowning



  • my comment first, then the news story detail.

    IMO it's a senseless tragedy, first the people swimming there disregarding the warnings and so must take blame, and will carry this with them forever. However, it's summer and the evidence is that many people swim there.

    for me th thing that sticks out is the timing of releasing the water...prime swimming or visiting time when the day is hottest. why don't they release the water at 10pm, 12am, 2am? Or would that be too logical, or off peak electricity?? Really a shame for this woman and her family.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11795629
    this is what happened and the proceedures in place:
    Mercury Energy is reviewing its procedures to see if it can improve safety after a woman was swept to her death by the surging waters of the Waikato River yesterday.

    The woman, believed to be in her early 20s, was one of a group swimming in the river shortly before midday. Four were swept away when the Aratiatia Dam gates opened sending waters of up to 90,000 litres a second downstream.

    Power authorities open the Aratiatia Dam floodgates upstream several times a day. In the summer, they are released at 10am, midday, 2pm and 4pm.

    A siren sounds before the water is released and there are signs warning people of the danger and not to swim there.



  • The release is nothing to do with dam operations. They're so people can view the rapids which aren't unless water is flowing.

    No point releasing at night when you can't see them.

    They were morons.



  • Unrelated to this story but I went out to Piha yesterday and went for a paddle - fuck me why does anyone swim there? It wasn't even that rough but I could feel the undertow dragging at my feet when the waves went out. Great for surfing and bodyboarding but far out swimming there is fraught with danger - must be a nightmare for the lifeguards on duty.

    Back on topic, this is a tragic story but there's only so much authorities can do to save people from themselves. If there's already warning signs telling people not to swim there, what else can you do?



  • ok, it was 3am when I posted it, I must have missed where the point of the release is for the rapids. yes, morons to swim there. shame, though



  • @No-Quarter that Piha Rescue program gives you fair warning how bad it can be...gotta feel for the Lifeguards, so many idiots rescued after hours, there is no helping some.

    I was at Ruakaka beach yesterday, Lifeguards on Patrol, plane in the sky going up and down the coast (only assume was on Shark watch as they had a warning on SaturdaY) and IRB's going up and down as well, yet still more people swimming well outside the flags, in an area where someone was lost last week to a rip.



  • Man I wish stories like this were angled and finished with 'don't be a fucktard' rather than Mercury Energy (or whoever) 'reviewing their processes'. I mean FFS. They have signs. They have a siren. If people choose to ignore both, entirely their own fault.



  • @Mokey

    Yep, can't help but feel thge story would be a lot more useful if it was slanted as "do dumb stuff, die, take some personal responsibility idiots". Harsh on the family, but it might make the odd moron think twice in future. As it is it reads as "they were unlucky & Mercury are reviewing things to see where they (Merc) fucked up"



  • This was one I saw yesterday in the same vein

    I hadn't heard of Omanawa Falls before despite living around the area so looked it up.

    From what I can gather there is no public access, there is a small hydro dam and no swimming signs, there is no track down to the water (you have to scramble down a very steep bush bank), the old viewing platform at the top has been closed for safety issues.

    This is on Waterfalls.co.nz

    Important! There used to be public access to the viewing point above the falls, but this is no longer considered safe. The entrance to the park is now closed with several warning signs and extra gates. Omanawa Falls is a beautiful site but one that will require a significant amount of investment before it can be safely opened for public access. Tauranga City Council plans to consider funding upgrades at the next Long Term Plan (LTP) in 2018. (c) Tauranga City Council

    However, this is one of those places that does the rounds on backpacker blogs and facebook pages as some kind of secret/special/free tourist attraction which causes the landowners nearby no end of problems with dipshit tourists wandering through their properties wanting a swim. Signs and gates and fences are all being ignored because being a free thinking tourist apparently makes you safe.

    Also saw this in the BOP local rag

    A person has been rescued from Omanawa Falls this evening after being injured in a fall.
    A rescue helicopter was called in to transport the injured patient to hospital.
    A caller to the 0800 SUNLIVE news hotline says a rescue helicopter was hovering in the area.
    She says a group of 10 people pushed through her property with togs, despite security fences.
    It's unclear what injuries the patient sustained in the fall.



  • The story in the local newspaper yesterday quoted some German tourists who were witnesses to the event. They said the girls were standing on a rock taking fuckin' selfies AFTER the gates had been opened and the water level was rising. 😲



  • @Bovidae said in Waikato river drowning:

    The story in the local newspaper yesterday quoted some German tourists who were witnesses to the event. They said the girls were standing on a rock taking fuckin' selfies AFTER the gates had been opened and the water level was rising. 😲

    Now I feel sad more didn't die.

    Tho' its probaly an excellent advert for waterproof & shockproof phones.



  • 2017 Darwin Awards must be coming up soon



  • Here's the actual article with pictures.



  • Death by stupidity. That they were using selfie sticks just underlines that.

    If people are going to ignore signs and sirens there isn't much else you can do.



  • @Kirwan said in Waikato river drowning:

    Death by stupidity. That they were using selfie sticks just underlines that.

    If people are going to ignore signs and sirens there isn't much else you can do.

    No mention of Health and Safety yet.

    It will come I'm sure, although there is a strong argument that damn near everything that could have been done, was. Damn near doesn't always cut it though...



  • @nzzp said in Waikato river drowning:

    @Kirwan said in Waikato river drowning:

    Death by stupidity. That they were using selfie sticks just underlines that.

    If people are going to ignore signs and sirens there isn't much else you can do.

    No mention of Health and Safety yet.

    It will come I'm sure, although there is a strong argument that damn near everything that could have been done, was. Damn near doesn't always cut it though...

    I'm all for health and safety and avoiding risks etc, but you can't protect people from themselves sometimes...



  • I'm torn 50/50 between thinking Darwin Awards and thinking this thread is further confirmation that there's too many grumpy old buggers on TSF.



  • @Godder said in Waikato river drowning:

    @nzzp said in Waikato river drowning:

    @Kirwan said in Waikato river drowning:

    Death by stupidity. That they were using selfie sticks just underlines that.

    If people are going to ignore signs and sirens there isn't much else you can do.

    No mention of Health and Safety yet.

    It will come I'm sure, although there is a strong argument that damn near everything that could have been done, was. Damn near doesn't always cut it though...

    I'm all for health and safety and avoiding risks etc, but you can't protect people from themselves sometimes...

    I agree, but worksafe don't always.



  • @Kirwan said in Waikato river drowning:

    Death by stupidity. That they were using selfie sticks just underlines that.

    If people are going to ignore signs and sirens there isn't much else you can do.

    Too right. I understand Mercury saying they will conduct a review but you can't legislate stupid



  • @Donsteppa said in Waikato river drowning:

    I'm torn 50/50 between thinking Darwin Awards and thinking this thread is further confirmation that there's too many grumpy old buggers on TSF.

    Not necessarily mutually exclusive concepts ...



  • I think, given that there are reports of other people swimming there, that more should have been done to make it abundantly clear no swimming is allowed, and why.

    on another note, excessive dairy farming and irrigation in Canterbury is destroying the rivers, in this case...

    real shame, one of the enjoyable things growing up was swimming in rivers