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
“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
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.”
“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.”
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!
Blogs tagged ‘Adventure Tourism deaths‘ and these posts:
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)
Catherine Peters: Alistair McWhannell Guilty Of Manslaughter In Swing Bridge Death (June 2010)