A man from the Czech Republic is dead after he went over a
raging Whangarei waterfall in a kayak during torrential
The 29-year-old kayaker was with three others, one from
Whangarei and two from Auckland, when the four went over the
waterfall on the Wairoa River, off Puketitoi Rd, about 25km
west of Whangarei about 1.30pm.
Whangarei police Sergeant Craig Burrows said the four
kayakers were equipped with safety gear, including
lifejackets, but the man's three colleagues were unable to
revive him when they recovered him from the raging water.
Mr Burrows said all four had gone over the waterfall and the
Czech national struggled at the bottom of the falls and got
caught in the rapids.
"He got into trouble and was pulled under many times," Mr
"His friends managed to reach him, pull him up a cliff and
perform CPR, which was unsuccessful."
The man had been living in New Zealand, and Mr Burrows said
his next of kin in the Czech Republic had been informed of
his death. They had yet to make a decision whether to fly to
New Zealand or wait for the return of his body. The man's
name has not being released.
- Mike Dinsdale of The Northern Advocate