Adventure group billed for rescue

Adventure Southland has been sent a bill by Kawarau Jet, which answered a mayday call after four Queenstown Resort College students capsized while kayaking on Lake Wakatipu on September 25.

A German woman, two Swedish men and a New Zealand man, aged 18 to 20, were kayaking about 100m offshore when a fast-moving southwesterly front hit, tipping the four into the chilly lake.

Kawarau Jet has sent a $1400 bill to Adventure Southland - whose guides were leading the 25-strong group - for damage to two of its jet-boats when they collided while dropping the group at the Sunshine Bay jetty.

They had been rescued from nearby Seven Mile, following a radio mayday call.

Princess Cruises and TSS Earnslaw were diverted from commercial operations but Queenstown Lakes District Council harbourmaster Marty Black said neither company had sent an invoice.

Mr Black and Adventure Southland managing director Jason Holland met on Friday to discuss the incident.

"We've got it all sorted out. They're changing their procedures to make them a little bit more user-friendly and explicit. It's a good outcome," Mr Black said.

Mr Holland said part of the problem had been raising the alarm using VHF radio rather than a 111 emergency call.

He said the experience had been "a learning curve" for the company.

- matt.stewart@odt.co.nz

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