Wanaka Sun       

Close call on the Clutha River

Posted at 5:06am Thursday 20 Dec, 2018 | By Emma Conyngham newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz


It was almost a tragedy on Monday, December 17, when three foreign nationals decided to swim in the Clutha River at the Albert Town campground. Not used to our waters, one of them quickly found himself in trouble.

“They thought it might be good to go for a swim and one of them decided to swim across the river,” said Deputy Harbourmaster, Craig Blake. “One of them, about half way seemed like he felt cold, then the muscles slowed down, then the panic set in; ‘I can't make this.' Then he started waving his hands.”

Thankfully a passing mountain biker saw the man in distress and jumped in and helped him to the shore.

“It was his lucky day,” said Blake.

“If you're going to swim in our rivers, even in summer, you need a wetsuit at the very least. A lifejacket is preferable too. Our waters are cold and the effect on your muscles and breathing is drastic and it can get dangerous very very quickly.”

“My advice is to always wear a wetsuit and stay within your abilities. If you find yourself in trouble, put your hands in the air try to get attention to assist.”

The harbourmaster has no record of who the hero was that rescued the tourist. If it was you, or you know who it was, please contact newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz.


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