Tragic start to new year


Several kayakers have died on New Zealand’s rivers this year. 21-year old German kayaker Guenther Schuppan was trapped under a rock ledge on the Nevis River, and 37-year-old Robin Dodd from Ohio, USA was trapped in a rock sieve on the Upper Hokitika. Both of these rivers are demanding, steep, wilderness runs. Both groups contained experienced, talented paddlers. These drownings follow the death of Irish rodeo competitor Niamh Tomkins, 24 who drowned after a lunchtime swim during the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships held at Ngaawaparua on the Waikato river in December. NZRCA President Sarah McRae and Vice-President Robin Rutter-Baumann have commented briefly in the media, and the NZRCA is assisting with the ongoing investigation of these events.Further information:Christchurch Press: “Deaths show kayaking river danger” and “River victims kayak-rodeo visitors” has archived a message from Chris Emerick about Robin Dodd.The Upper Hokitika was described in NZ Adventure magazine #97, December 1999.