Swimmers are being urged to take care before leaping off
bridges after a 22-year-old French tourist suffered serious
leg injuries as he plunged into the Buller River.
The man had to be winched off rocks after he jumped from
O'Sullivans Bridge, south of Murchison, about 1.45pm
An intensive care paramedic from the Nelson Marlborough
Rescue helicopter had to stabilise the man, who could not be
moved, before getting him onto a stretcher.
He was then winched from the rocks and airlifted to Nelson
Rescue helicopter crewman Hamish Pirie said the tourist was
obviously unaware of the depth of the water.
"And because it's an off-colour river, you can't really see
the bottom. He's impacted with the bottom and suffered leg
injuries instantly, basically - instant pain."
Mr Pirie agreed it was not the best way for a holiday to turn
"He'll be strapped up and in a bit of medical assistance for
a while, I'd say."
Mr Pirie warned swimmers to be cautious before jumping off
bridges or rocks.
"Obviously if you don't know the river, then it's not a good
idea. If you can't see the bottom, that's also not a good
idea because you just don't know how deep it is."
Mr Pirie said being able to see the bottom of the river
"Obviously light and things do play havoc with the eyes - it
can look really deep but it may not actually be. If you're
going to jump off anything, you need to get in the water and
"Swim around, put a pair of goggles on, have a look, see how
deep the water is, and make sure there's no obstacles where
you're going to land.
"I wouldn't say don't jump off things, but I would say you
need to make sure that what you're jumping into is clear and