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Be careful in the great outdoors

Wellington, New...
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Be careful in the great outdoors

Over the past few weeks we have seen some tragic and some foolhardy occurences in the New Zealand outdoors.

We have seen mountaineers lose their lives on NZ highest mountains and we seen foolhardy people wander out into the bush ill properly prepared causing a great deal of time and expense mounted by serach parties who went out to find them.

We have also seen boaties go out ill prepared in small boats in conditions that should have indicated that boating was unwise. Some of these escapades again resulted in many people and thousands of dollars spent in finding these foolish people.

Many visitors to the country over summer are going to go out into the bush and go to sea in small boats and some are going to again get into trouble.

Please if you are thinking of going boating or walking in the bush make sure that you are properly prepared, have the appropriate clothing with you and those at base are aware of where you are going and what time you are expected to return. Do not exceed your level of competence. The NZ bush and coastline can be a lovely place to visit and the weather can change very quickly turning a simple stroll or fishing trip into a major rescue evolution.

If you are unsure of the weather dont go out. We want all our visitors to enjoy our country and go home to tell others of their happy experiences.

Happy New year.

New Zealand
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1. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

Thanks for the timely reminder Bean.

Another solo tramper is lost in Mt Aspiring National Park. They had to call off the search due to rain, thunderstorms and summer snow, but plan to resume looking today.

The young woman is an experienced hiker but she is now overdue and there are grave concerns for her safety.

I have hiked solo throughout the US, in the summer heat of the desert and the chill of winter snow, but I never hike alone in NZ. The weather is just too unpredictable.

Best wishes to the missing hiker

... and please, let's be careful out there :)

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

An Australian resident in NZ, to celebrate his birthday drowned today whilst out fishing in a small boat. He wasn't wearing a life jacket.

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3. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

Just to add a word about our beaches.

The following based on a brochure produced by our local council to help people enjoy but keep safe on our wonderful beaches to the west of Auckland. The advice of course applies to any beach.

Swim only at lifeguard patrolled beaches if possible.

Always swim between the red and yellow flags

Listen to advice from lifeguards and heed safety signs

Never swim alone and don’t leave children unattended

Never run and dive in to water – check depth first

Avoid alcohol – it affects your judgment and the ability to hold your breath

Don’t depend on flotation devices such as boogie boards as you can lose them in large waves

Be aware of rips (currents, usually very strong flowing out to sea from the beach). Regularly check your position against a landmark such as lifeguard flags to help maintain a fixed position and alert you to dangerous currents.

Don’t wear street clothes in the water

If you get into trouble don’t try and swim against a current. Raise your arm for assistance, float and wait for help

If you are not sure about the surf or sea conditions or your own abilities then stay out of the water.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

An update on the solo hiker lost in Mt Aspiring.

They have found her backpack but don't expect to be able to locate her body.

"The gorge area in which the pack was found is basically a huge jumble of massive rocks and white water and there is every chance the body is buried under silt or trapped well below the surface."

A DOC Ranger warned her not to go due to the weather conditions, but she went anyway. She leaves behind a 4 year old daughter.

Please... ask DOC their advice... and follow it.

Wellington, New...
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5. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

A young promising very fit professional footballer went missing on Bethels Beach last Sunday. He is now presumed drowned. He died saving members of his family trapped in the heavy surf.

If you travel to our West Coast beaches and frequent heavy surf conditions swim between the flags, obey the instructions of the surf patrol. If there is no surf patrol on the beach and you have not experienced heavy surf, undertows, rips and holes then stay out of the water. If you dont understand these terms then stay out of the water during heavy surf conditions.

Noone has died on New Zealand beaches swimming between the flags. Safety flags on NZ beaches are Red and yellow and our lifegurads are dressed in similar red and yellow.

NZ West Cost beaches whilst a lot of fun can be extremely dangerous.

Wellington, New...
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6. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

It has been reported today that 4 tourists are trapped under ice on the Fox Glacier in the STh Island. It was further reported that the tourists were outside the roped off safety areas when the collapse occurred.

In 2007 DOC (Dept of Conservation) reported that over a third of the 600,000 tourists who visited the West Coast Glaciers each year ignored warning signs and entered danger zones.

Please on behalf of all New Zealanders be careful out there. we have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and also some of the most dangerous if the rules are not followed.

Wellington, New...
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7. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

Two australian brothers are dead buried under tons of ice. One body has been recovered but the conditions are currently too dangerous to try and recover the second. a 20 ton digger had to be used to remove the ice.

Two needless deaths because they didnt follow the warning signs.

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8. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

But bean, those signs didn't apply to them, they were for everyone else ; )

New Zealand
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9. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

The pointless death of two young men.

When I first arrived home after many years living in the States I found the lack of guard rails, fences and so on quite charming, in that it was assumed everyone would use common sense. However the sad reality is that common sense isn't actually very common.

Wellington, New...
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10. Re: Be careful in the great outdoors

How many more tourists,visitors to NZ and locals alike must die before people grow up and use some common sense and take heed of the warnings.

What is worse is that the death of a visitor is bad enough but hundreds of locals already this year, and its barely two weeks old, have put their own lives at risk by going out to try and rescue these morons.

At the outset of this thread I predicted the outcomes

OH how I wish I was wrong, but we havent seen the end of it yet unfortunately.

Foreign visitor are not the only morons who put others at risk, there are many locals who also fall into this category.

Some deaths are tragic accidents but about 98% are avoidable