QLDC: Near-drowning a reminder for water safety

PRESS RELEASE: Queenstown Lakes District Council

QLDC wishes to remind anyone visiting lakes or rivers in the district to take extra care around the water after a 26-year old backpacker was rescued after nearly drowning while trying to cross the Glenorchy delta this afternoon.

The man sought advice from a local shop as to whether he was safe to cross the Glenorchy delta to Kinloch by foot, and was advised that he would be fine. Travelling alone, he attempted to cross the delta and was swept off his feet and dragged by the strong current.

Manager of Kinloch Lodge, John Glover, was alerted by one of his team members they could hear yelling in the distance from the river. Mr Glover investigated the situation and discovered the man had been swept out into the lake by approximately 100m and was visibly in trouble attempting to stay afloat on his backpack.

Marty Black, QLDC Harbourmaster, says this is a timely reminder to anyone who is planning on visiting the water to be wary of the unexpected power of currents and to only cross if it is safe to do so.

“Unfortunately this man was given the wrong advice and misjudged the situation. Anyone visiting the water should seek advice from experts such as DOC or the local Harbourmaster if they are unsure of the safety. And if you’re travelling or tramping alone try and let people know where you are headed and an expected return time.”

Mr Black commends John Glover and his team for saving the man’s life after promptly responding to the situation.

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