Waikato river drowning



  • This was one I saw yesterday in the same vein
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/89134745/man-seriously-injured-in-waterfall-jump-at-omanawa-falls-in-bay-of-plenty

    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





  • 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...
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/89159663/swimming-hole-on-canterburys-selwyn-river-reaches-record-low-and-nearly-stagnant

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



  • @Wairau you see signs at beaches saying only swim between the flags, or the shark sign and yet people still swim outside the flags and in spite of warnings.

    You simply cannot account for every person to abide by the rules, yes it is a tragedy and inevitably people look to blame someone, usually anyone other than the victim...



  • @taniwharugby said in Waikato river drowning:

    @Wairau you see signs at beaches saying only swim between the flags, or the shark sign and yet people still swim outside the flags and in spite of warnings.

    You simply cannot account for every person to abide by the rules, yes it is a tragedy and inevitably people look to blame someone, usually anyone other than the victim...

    In defence of swimming despite warning signs there is a beautiful waterfall in the Grampions national park in Victoria. Mackenzie falls I think it's called, talking to the locals they say its a great place to swim however as it turns out swimming is not allowed. The reason being a couple kids died a few years back and from what I can tell its just a massive overreach by the fun police. There were about 40 people swimming there when I visited, the only thing that I can pick up as being dangerous is that the rocks are slippery but that's to be expected being nature and all and not a public swimming pool. I think it's this overreach on safety which results in a desensitisation towards warning signs.



  • @Rembrandt no win situation then is it.

    Authorities do what they deem is right, accidents happen when people ignore the signs, then they get blame for not doing more?



  • oh and also apparently just before we arrived a group was screaming at some swimmers chastising them for 'disrespecting our culture!'. Unfortunately they had gone by the time we got down there so didn't get any info on the ethnicity of the protestors. There certainly wasn't any information about it being a culturally sensitive site and I wasn't able to google up anything either, definitely a possibility that they just assumed it was the case for the no swimming signs.



  • @taniwharugby Yep. Though it would be great to have some sort of decent criteria for 'no swimming'. I wonder what the warning signs said in the waikato? I think the Mackenzie falls should have been fine with a 'careful wet rocks can be slippery' sign. alt text



  • @Rembrandt do you watch the Piha Rescue programme? Sadly in some cases they might need signs that say 'if you cant swim, stay out of the water'

    Is no account for stupidity or naivety unfortunately, as was the tone of my post, you can only do so much before people make their own decisions to take the risk, despite any warnings.



  • @Rembrandt said in Waikato river drowning:

    @taniwharugby Yep. Though it would be great to have some sort of decent criteria for 'no swimming'. I wonder what the warning signs said in the waikato? I think the Mackenzie falls should have been fine with a 'careful wet rocks can be slippery' sign.

    0_1486942046667_upload-7561f603-01bd-4d08-a28e-770c0d701b9e
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/89124567/search-for-up-to-four-people-swept-down-waikato-river-near-lake-taupo

    and

    0_1486942075266_upload-d8d89273-732f-454a-b3c4-1da42ac0f6f1


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