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Be safe this summer

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

The outdoors provide so much enjoyment to Wairarapa people, but can be incredibly dangerous if you’re unprepared or do some silly things.

Or you can just be unlucky.

Over the weekend there were a number of incidents around the country which highlighted how quickly things can go wrong when you’re enjoying the outdoors – a most popular Kiwi summer pastime.

And while none of the incidents took place in Wairarapa, it’s important to take note all the same, because we love taking part in all the same activities.

On Friday night a woman lost on a track near Wanaka used the last remaining battery on her cellphone to call for help.

The tramper was lost on Roys Peak Track near Wanaka after taking a wrong turn on her way down from the top of the track.

The woman, who was distressed and wearing only light clothing, described her approximate location before her phone battery died.

She was lucky – a lot luckier than two trampers who died in the Tararua Ranges last month.

On Saturday a man went missing, and a second person received medical treatment, after a visit to West Auckland’s Piha Beach went horribly wrong.

The adult male disappeared while swimming, prompting a large search by emergency services just after 6pm.

Also on Saturday a man was killed after the quad bike he was riding overturned on a beach track in Port Waikato.

Tramping, swimming, driving around on quads – all great things to get up to over summer in our region.

Add to that list jet skiing, fishing off rocks, mountain biking – the list goes on with fun activities that carry a level of danger.

It’s difficult to know at this stage exactly what the people in the above-mentioned cases were doing in order to get themselves in trouble.

Whether they were completely unprepared, clowning around, or just horribly unlucky, will emerge as part of police investigations and possibly a coroner’s inquest.

But what is certain is that things do go wrong.

So get out there and hoon around, splash about – have fun.

Just make sure you take care of the basic safety elements first, so that you and those you are with all get home in one piece.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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