Tragedy in New Zealand

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Tragedy in New Zealand

Postby M24 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:18 pm

Two kayakers succumb to hypothermia on Lake Tekapo in NZ. ... ew-zealand

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Re: Tragedy in New Zealand

Postby peejay » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:44 pm

My wife and I attempted to hire 2 Mirage 530's from a kayak hire company in Sydney. They refused point blank to provide spray skirts and point blank refused to discuss or consider the kayaking experience of my wife and I. I reminded them that it would be foolhardy to paddle around in textured water with plenty of boat wash that could swamp the kayaks. The story content of the link to this post suggests that there were no spray skirts on these kayaks. A report I heard on ABC in Brisbane said that all kayaks were swamped with all occupants in the water. If this is true then it suggests the obvious. If no skirts were made available to these hirers for a trip on a lake known for gnarly conditions in wind then there should be at least one recommendation coming out of the coroner's inquest. I'm wondering whether the reluctance to provide skirts is a cost cutting measure dressed up as a safety measure. Hope not!

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Re: Tragedy in New Zealand

Postby Mac50L » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:01 pm

There is a lot of very bad reporting done by reporters, not journalists.

Example - "... they’ve just got caught out by a freak wind, unfortunately here we do get freak winds too regularly." If a wind is a quite regular event how can it be "freak"? A journalist, hopefully, would question such a statement, a reporter just reports it.


What appears to be the official story so far - ... dling-area

The start of this article doesn't make sense but has this at the bottom -


About 2pm Friday: Eleven Monash University students hire kayaks from AquaNorts and heads [sic] out on Lake Tekapo. Windy conditions predicted.

About 3.20pm: AquaNorts becomes concerned about the group, as winds on the lake increase. During the trip, five of the kayakers were tipped out in choppy water, including James Murphy, 20, and Daniel Hollnsteiner, who died. The other six paddle to Motuariki Island and light a fire.

4.31pm: Emergency services alerted.

5.15-5.20pm: Last of the 11 kayakers accounted for.


At least one of the five was reported walking along the west shore (near Lake MacGregor) and there is a double kayak photographed on the shore (see URL above) with hatches open as if gear had been removed such as dry clothing possibly. Question how many made it there dryish, one or 3? If tipped out it has got to be close to shore because swimming any great distance with a PFD and cold water isn't going to happen. We have been told 2 capsized too far off shore (2 km apart) and drowned.

My guess, note GUESS -

It appears they launched after 2.00 p.m. There is a photo on one news source of them on the beach at Tekapo and the date stamp (meta-data) on it indicates 1341 hr time (if the camera, an iPhone 5S, was correct).

Piecing things together it would appear they were probably to the S or SE of the island when the easterly or SE wind got up. Six made it to the island and a double (a photo of it) and a single landed on the west shore near where Lake MacGregor comes out (3 reported to be there). The 6 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 it would tend to indicate they were following those who got to the west shore. (From plotting where there is a 2 km gap between island and west side.)

The mayor of Tekapo was reported to say it was freak conditions - rubbish, a normal wind which got up in the afternoon, about 20 knots. Nearby places (private weather stations on the web), Twizel and Pukaki had air temperatures of 15 C around 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. Unfortunately nothing on the web at Tekapo or Mount John (the mountain on the edge of the lake with an observatory.

Not reported, the expected back time. There is a gap of an hour between the owner getting concerned and the calling of emergency services.


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