Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Extreme sports deaths’

“No Accountability in New Zealand” Fox Glacier Aviation Disaster

August 13, 2012 1 comment

Bradley Coker was one of nine people killed in the Fox Glacier plane crash

The inquest into the deaths of nine people in the Fox Glacier plane disaster two years ago has been told there is “no accountability in New Zealand

In a letter from the parents of Bradley Coker, a British tourist killed in the crash it was revealed

    “There have been without doubt major failings by the Civil Aviation Authority and there were major failings by the aircraft operators.”

It had been flown out of balance and overloaded 75 times, which meant such an accident was an “inevitable certainty”.

They called for law changes to ensure “proper responsibility” to those who were involved, saying there was “no accountability in New Zealand”. Read more source

In an interview given to the BBC in May of this year Bradley’s family told reporters his death was one of many in the adventure tourism sector in New Zealand, one that is perceived to be poorly regulated and with a high accident rate. They gave this advice to viewers:

“To anyone thinking about going to New Zealand on an adrenaline sport think twice, the report is a catalogue of errors from both the CAA  and the sky diving company” … regulations “not enforced”… “two of the tandem masters had actually taken controlled drugs before they got on the plane” (cannabis)

In a statement to the BBC, Prime Minister John Key said approximately 50 people had been killed in adventure tourism sector in the last 8 years.

New Zealand a “safe country”

Parents of another deceased tourist, Annika Kirsten due to return nome on 3 October but instead her ashes arrived in an urn on 18 September, also wrote a letter to the inquest

Her parents had encouraged her to travel to New Zealand, thinking it was a safe country.

Since the crash, they had suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome.

“Together, with our daughter, we lost our future, our sense of life and our hope.”

They blamed the CAA for failing to adequately supervise the industry and Skydive New Zealand for acting negligently.

“In the name of our daughter, we ask the responsible people, who are still alive to stand up to their responsibility and to tell the truth about their negligence in the inquest.”

A live streaming broadcast of the inquest may be found here http://www2.justice.govt.nz/courts/coroners-court/courtstreaming.html

New Zealand tourism a catalgoue of disasters and drug taking

The Fox Glacier crash was before the Carterton ballooning tragedy in which 11 people were engulfed in flames. The balloon pilot, Lance Hopping, was later found to have cannabis in his system at the time of his death. Remarkably, two of the jump masters in the skydiving crash were also found to have taken cannabis prior to the flight.

Adventure tourism must learn from NZ crash:

“THE authors of a report criticising aviation regulators following a skydiving plane crash in New Zealand that killed nine people, including two Australians, in 2010 say there are lessons to be learned by all adventure tourism operators.

The modified topdressing plane, carrying four foreign tourists, four tandem jumpers and a pilot, had too much weight in the rear of the plane when it tried to take off on September 4, 2010, causing it to rise very sharply and at too low a speed to be controllable.
NZ Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) investigator Ian McClelland says the plane flew regularly with eight passengers, producing too much weight in the rear of the plane, and the owners and pilot were not checking weight and balance as they should be.
But he also says regulation of adventure aviation was not what it should be, that the modifications to the plane were poorly managed, and discrepancies in the modification documents weren’t picked up by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) when it approved them.

The CAA lost the opportunity to correct the company’s errors,” Mr McClelland said…” more here

 You may also be interested in:

British FCO advice to travellers about New Zealand (May 2011)

There have been a number of tragic accidents involving British visitors; these also include extreme sporting accidents. If you intend to participate in extreme sports do check that the company is well established in the industry and that your insurance covers you. If you intend visiting remote areas, check with local tourist authorities for advice before setting out. Ensure that you register your details with a Visitor Information Centre or family or friends. Weather conditions can quickly become treacherous in some areas so keep yourself informed of regional weather forecasts.”

Australian Advice to travellers about New Zealand (May 2011)

“Many tourists safely undertake adventure activities in New Zealand. However, many adventure tourism activities have inherent risks, and there have been a number of serious accidents involving Australians and other tourists, some resulting in deaths. Some operators have been found to be negligent. You should be aware that safety standards in New Zealand’s adventure tourism industry may differ between individual operators and may differ from those in Australia.

Travellers need to make their own careful judgements about the risks involved in individual or group activities and of the safety standards of individual operators. We strongly recommend travellers inquire with individual operators about the safety standards adhered to, whether these standards are applied across the industry and the risks involved in the activity. We recommend travellers hold travel insurance and complementary accident or income protection insurance and understand what circumstances and activities are not covered by the policies.”

 ”I am German and have been in NZ for the past 4-5 years. I completely support this site and strongly confirm these allegatons. NZ has no control or standards and has minimum professionalism or competence…public transport, mobile phone service, administration, hospitals, immigration, you name it…I had it all. NZ is beautiful but things simply do not work. Be careful and and maintain some healthy common sense ’cause you cannot expect it vice versa.”

NZ Safety Expatexposed.com

NZ Safety

A”nother dent in NZ’s undeserved international reputation! The word is getting out that New Zealand is a bit lax in the H&S area!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/n…objectid=10804653

http://www.facebook.com/nzsafety

.

Blogs tagged ‘Adventure Tourism deaths‘ and these posts:

Fox Glacier Aviation Disaster “New Zealand Unsafe” (May 2012)

Excitor III and Mac Attack Companies Fined for Broken Backs (May 2012)

Harness Failure Leaves Woman Dangling At Nevis Bungy Swing (May 2012)

Carterton Ballooning Tragedy, Urgent Checks Follow Air Worthiness Concerns (Feb 2012)

Emily Jordan: Riverboarding Death By Misadventure. Tell Clients The Truth About The Risks. Staff Panicked (May 2011)

Sarah Bond Quad Bike Death – Prosecution Brought (August 2009)

 Thrillseekers Adventure Ltd Fined For Bungy Fall (May 2011)

Tom Donaldson Inquest – Coroners Says ‘Warn Tourists’ (Nov 2010)

Wellington Reverse Bungy Closed Amid Safety Fears (Dec 2010)

Tourists Seriously Injured In Bay Of Islands Boat Incidents (April 2011)

Catherine Peters: Alistair McWhannell Guilty Of Manslaughter In Swing Bridge Death (June 2010)

Fox Glacier Plane Crash, Nine Dead Including Four Tourists (Sept 2010)

Tourists Injured in Queenstown Jet Boat Crash, Another Died Swimming With Dolphins (Nov 2010)

Australian Tourist Seriously Injured By Dophin Boat (Dec 2010)

Tourists seriously injured in collision between Outward Bound cutter and a Dolphin Watch Ecotours (Feb 2011)

Six students and teacher drown in outward bound activity (May 2009)

BBC Interview with family of Bradley Coker. Adventure Tourism must learn from NZ crash. Cannabis Use

May 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The BBC has screened an interview with the family of Bradley Coker.

Bradley, a British tourist, died along with eight other people when a sky diving plane crashed over the Fox Glacier on the day of the Christchurch earthquake. His death was one of many in the adventure tourism sector in New Zealand, one that is perceived to be poorly regulated and with a high accident rate.

In a statement to the BBC, Prime Minister John Key said approximately 50 people had been killed in the adventure tourism sector in the last 8 years.

from the BBC interview with Bradley’s family:

“To anyone thinking about going to New Zealand on an adrenaline sport think twice, the report is a catalogue of errors from both the CAA and the sky diving company” … regulations “not enforced”… “two of the tandem masters had actually taken controlled drugs before they got on the plane” (cannabis)

.

For more about New Zealand’s drug problem read this report in the NZ Herald NZ’s world-high drug use no surprise – Experts

BBC:

“The family of a British man who was killed when the aircraft taking him on skydiving trip crashed in New Zealand, has called for a review of aviation safety to stop a further tragedy happening again.

Bradley Coker, 24, died on South Island in 2010 while trying skydiving, along with eight other people. An accident investigation report found a catalogue of errors.

Bradley’s father Chris, sister Elizabeth, and his girlfriend Hayley Denham, want safety to be reinforced in so-called adrenaline sports”.

.

Other countries who lost their nationals in the disaster have also reported on the crash, and on the official investigation into one of New Zealand’s worst air disasters.

The Fox Glacier crash was before the Carterton ballooning tragedy in which 11 people were engulfed in flames. The balloon pilot, Lance Hopping, was later found to have cannabis in his system at the time of his death. Remarkably, two of the jump masters in the skydiving crash were also found to have taken cannabis prior to the flight.

Adventure tourism must learn from NZ crash

“THE authors of a report criticising aviation regulators following a skydiving plane crash in New Zealand that killed nine people, including two Australians, in 2010 say there are lessons to be learned by all adventure tourism operators.

The modified topdressing plane, carrying four foreign tourists, four tandem jumpers and a pilot, had too much weight in the rear of the plane when it tried to take off on September 4, 2010, causing it to rise very sharply and at too low a speed to be controllable.
NZ Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) investigator Ian McClelland says the plane flew regularly with eight passengers, producing too much weight in the rear of the plane, and the owners and pilot were not checking weight and balance as they should be.
But he also says regulation of adventure aviation was not what it should be, that the modifications to the plane were poorly managed, and discrepancies in the modification documents weren’t picked up by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) when it approved them.

The CAA lost the opportunity to correct the company’s errors,” Mr McClelland said…” more here

 You may also be interested in:

British FCO advice to travellers about New Zealand(May 2011)

There have been a number of tragic accidents involving British visitors; these also include extreme sporting accidents. If you intend to participate in extreme sports do check that the company is well established in the industry and that your insurance covers you. If you intend visiting remote areas, check with local tourist authorities for advice before setting out. Ensure that you register your details with a Visitor Information Centre or family or friends. Weather conditions can quickly become treacherous in some areas so keep yourself informed of regional weather forecasts.”

Australian Advice to travellers about New Zealand (May 2011)

“Many tourists safely undertake adventure activities in New Zealand. However, many adventure tourism activities have inherent risks, and there have been a number of serious accidents involving Australians and other tourists, some resulting in deaths. Some operators have been found to be negligent. You should be aware that safety standards in New Zealand’s adventure tourism industry may differ between individual operators and may differ from those in Australia.

Travellers need to make their own careful judgements about the risks involved in individual or group activities and of the safety standards of individual operators. We strongly recommend travellers inquire with individual operators about the safety standards adhered to, whether these standards are applied across the industry and the risks involved in the activity. We recommend travellers hold travel insurance and complementary accident or income protection insurance and understand what circumstances and activities are not covered by the policies.”

 “I am German and have been in NZ for the past 4-5 years. I completely support this site and strongly confirm these allegatons. NZ has no control or standards and has minimum professionalism or competence…public transport, mobile phone service, administration, hospitals, immigration, you name it…I had it all. NZ is beautiful but things simply do not work. Be careful and and maintain some healthy common sense ’cause you cannot expect it vice versa.”

NZ Safety Expatexposed.com

NZ Safety

A”nother dent in NZ’s undeserved international reputation! The word is getting out that New Zealand is a bit lax in the H&S area!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/n…objectid=10804653

http://www.facebook.com/nzsafety

.

Blogs tagged ‘Adventure Tourism deaths‘ and these posts:

Fox Glacier Aviation Disaster “New Zealand Unsafe” (May 2012)

Excitor III and Mac Attack Companies Fined for Broken Backs (May 2012)

Harness Failure Leaves Woman Dangling At Nevis Bungy Swing (May 2012)

Carterton Ballooning Tragedy, Urgent Checks Follow Air Worthiness Concerns (Feb 2012)

Emily Jordan: Riverboarding Death By Misadventure. Tell Clients The Truth About The Risks. Staff Panicked (May 2011)

Sarah Bond Quad Bike Death – Prosecution Brought (August 2009)
Thrillseekers Adventure Ltd Fined For Bungy Fall(May 2011)

Tom Donaldson Inquest – Coroners Says ‘Warn Tourists’ (Nov 2010)

Wellington Reverse Bungy Closed Amid Safety Fears (Dec 2010)

Tourists Seriously Injured In Bay Of Islands Boat Incidents (April 2011)

Catherine Peters: Alistair McWhannell Guilty Of Manslaughter In Swing Bridge Death (June 2010)

Fox Glacier Plane Crash, Nine Dead Including Four Tourists (Sept 2010)

Tourists Injured in Queenstown Jet Boat Crash, Another Died Swimming With Dolphins (Nov 2010)

Australian Tourist Seriously Injured By Dophin Boat (Dec 2010)

Tourists seriously injured in collision between Outward Bound cutter and a Dolphin Watch Ecotours (Feb 2011)

Six students and teacher drown in outward bound activity (May 2009)

"Let’s Lay Down Law On Riverboarding"

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

27 August – By Frank Marvin in ‘Scene.co.nz

“A Queenstown whitewater expert is calling on maritime cops to regulate riverboarding.Stefan Crawford, 41, was speaking after last week’s harrowing trial of Mad Dog River Boarding and owner Brad McLeod after the Kawarau River death of English tourist Emily Jordan in April, 2008.

Crawford says Maritime New Zealand polices rafting and jetboating but not riverboarding – and they should. “I’d like to see MNZ become more actively involved with riverboarding and sledging to work towards some similar regulations to benefit the industry.”

Other than prosecuting health and safety breaches – like Mad Dog’s – MNZ has a hands-off approach to riverboarding, whose only sanction is a voluntary industry code….”

More of the article appears: here

For more about the death of Emily Jordan and Mad Dog River Boarding who were said to have been operating in a “regulatory vacuum” please see pages: Emily Jordan

Mad Dog later changed its name to The River Boarding Co.

For today’s posts click here

Rafting Death On The Shotover River, 2001

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Although the death of Yoly Nim Yan Chi in a rafting accident on a reasonably clam stretch of the Shotover River in 2001 was judged to be an accident there do seem to have been some similarities with her death and that of of Emily Jordan – with regards to hazard identification and how difficult it is to free someone trapped in white water:

Australian Canoeing, Tuesday, 14 May 2002

“No blame has been attributed to the rafting companies or the raft guide for the death of a University of Otago medical student during a raft trip on the Shotover River last year. The Maritime Safety Authority recently released its report into the death of Yoly Nim Yan Chi (19) during a joint Queenstown Rafting/Challenge Rafting trip on August 28. It found there was no procedural fault by the companies or the guide (Full report available for download).

Queenstown, NZ — No blame has been attributed to the rafting companies or the raft guide for the death of a University of Otago medical student during a raft trip on the Shotover River last year.

The NZ Maritime Safety Authority recently released its report into the death of Yoly Nim Yan Chi (19) during a joint Queenstown Rafting/Challenge Rafting trip on August 28. It found there was no procedural fault by the companies or the guide.

Miss Chi and five friends were on a raft which attempted to enter the Toilet Rapid. The raft was not close enough to the right bank and hit a large boulder.

The raft bounced off the rock and then rose up against a wave rolling off the boulder. Miss Chi fell out of the raft as the other five passengers lost their balance, which led to the raft dipping into the water. Four rafters were “flushed” from the raft as water rushed into it and pressure wrapped the raft around the rock.

Miss Chi and another rafter were wedged between the raft and the rock. He was freed by the guide after about 30 seconds but Miss Chi was facing upstream, between the raft and boulder and arched backwards, with only her hands above the water’s surface and unable to be freed.

The trip leader ordered the raft to be cut to free Miss Chi and radioed for a helicopter and medical assistance.

Attempts were made to rig lines to pull the raft off Miss Chi, including one by a helicopter, but the water pressure made it impossible. It took rescuers more than two hours to free her body. The rock was destroyed by explosives two days later.

A similar “wrap” had occurred a few days earlier on the same rock. It had taken 40 minutes to free the raft. At the time, recommendations were made to the companies’ guides about entering the rapid correctly.

The authority found the “tragic accident” was caused by a combination of the failure to stick to the true right hand side of the river before entering the rapid; the initial contact with the boulder which caused Miss Chi to fall into the river; the tilting of the raft after the group members lost their balance, which allowed water to enter the raft’s interior and wrap against the rock.

The authority will arrange a workshop with rafting representatives to discuss issues arising from the accident, including the means used for hazard identification, how the wrapping of rafts can be minimised and whether procedures for freeing them can be determined. A date is yet to be set.

When contacted yesterday, Challenge Rafting managing director Mark Quickfall said the companies supported the move to hold the workshop.

The accident had been a tragedy for all involved, he said and added he hoped the report would provide some answers for Miss Chi’s family.

“This tragedy deeply affected all of our staff. We understand fully the loss felt by her family, which will no doubt be rekindled at this time. Our sympathy is with them,” he said.”

It does make one question:
1. whether the previous “wrap” a few days earlier should’ve made the company reconsider using that stretch of river under similar conditions, and
2. whether the people in the raft were experienced/capable enough to keep it away from the right hand side of the river.

Other accidents on the Shotover River have included 11 people who were injured when their Shotover jet collided with a rock wall.

For today’s posts click here

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Chris Jordan To Lobby Key And The Letterman Show Coup

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

For more about the trial and events following it see: Emily Jordan

Chris Jordan, father of Emily Jordan who drowned in a River Boarding ‘accident’ in New Zealand in April 2008 on Monday called for legislation to be introduced to govern river boarding in the country: (RadioNZ)

“Mr Jordan believes his daughter died because the industry was unregulated and Mad Dog River Boarding ran a “cowboy” operation.

He said resources must be found to govern the industry and called for stringent regulations introduced to stop another death from happening.

“It’s not acceptable to say (New Zealand’s) a small country, we don’t have the resource to do it – because you’re actually taking the money off individuals … who believe that it’s safe.

“So if you’re prepared to take the money, you’ve got to have the safety procedures in place.”

He has also stated he intends to lobby Prime Minister John Key (who is also Minister for Tourism) in order to

“highlight the need for “good quality legislation” to push for regulations to replace voluntary guidelines governing safety in extreme sports industries.When told that person was John Key, who is also the Prime Minister, Mr Jordan said he would be “the right person to talk to”.

Staff in Mr Key’s office said yesterday, when contacted, they could not comment on the issue, but Mr Jordan’s concerns would be “welcome”.

Well, at least Mr Jordan didn’t get the ‘Castle-Hughes brush off’. We wish him well in his is endeavour, he’s going to have an uphill battle on his hands.

PR and Spin

NZ is very conscious of how it is perceived abroad, it may well be that Mr Jordan may achieve more on the international stage than he will within NZ.

It will be interesting to watch how this is ‘spun’ from now on, if a tight lid will be put on it all and New Zealanders close ranks on this.

The director of ‘Mad Dog’ Brad Mcleod is already supposed to have requested that media questions be “directed to a public relations company and said he would decide over the next week whether he would make a statement”. So much for an industry that “can’t afford” to invest money in safety (Update : Mad Dog later changed its name to The River Boarding Co.)

South Island is presently holding the Winter Games NZ until 30 August and will be hosting the rugby world cup in 2011. Every effort is likely to be made to smooth out the adverse publicity this case has caused, more so because it’s been announced that the tourism minister (aka John Key, the Prime Minister) is going to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman to “sell New Zealand to worldwide tourism‘.

Is it just a coincidence that the ‘Mad Dog’ trial suddenly ended early with a plea bargain just 3 days before the triumphant PR announcement about the show was made? Call me a cynic but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there had been some pressure to minimise any and all adverse publicity about tourism (there were two separate court hearings being held into deaths of young women in adventure sports in New Zealand) with the news about the Letterman show about to leak at any time. As they say, ‘timing is everything’.

Mad Dog later changed its name to

Other recent tourism related deaths (I won’t include injuries and assaults right now because there are so many so see below) include

British man Thomas Donaldson who died after sand surfing in the Far North.

Chinese tourist Yan Wang, who drowned in a river when she became trapped beneath a jet boat.

British backpacker Sarah Katie Bond who fell 50m to her death in Waitomo after losing control of a hired quad bike.

Six NZ students and a teacher from Auckland’s Elim College were swept to their deaths on a river canyoning trip in the Mangatepopo Gorge. (source NZ Herald)

In June 2009 Massey Univesity’s Dr Tim Bentley has said that the number of tourist adventure injuries in NZ rivals that of road injuries and that -

statistics mean New Zealand is on its way to being regarded as an unsafe destination. “In the US and Japan, people are already being advised not to come here because of the dangers. Tourism is our principal industry and these accidents are making a massive impact….

There’s also doubt about the ability of the Adventure Tourism industry to manage the risk to clients. “There are lots of small, unregulated companies out there with a seasonal workforce that comes and goes. There is also the danger that without the protection of ACC, people will start suing. In the US, travel companies have already been taken to court.”

See: ‘Tourist adventure injuries rival road injuries’

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,263 other followers

%d bloggers like this: