Published on 01 December 2022
Water Safety NZ says anyone near our awa (river) should follow these handy tips to keep them and their whanāu safe this summer:
Rivers are changeable and unpredictable – particularly after heavy rainfall. Riverbanks can also become unstable during and after heavy rain.
Check weather forecasts including rainfall in the hills above that could fill the streams and rivers where you are.
Upstream, downstream and where you’re swimming. Rivers contain hidden dangers and swimming holes can change depths from summer to summer.
Always enter feet first and establish an exit point before you enter.
Dial 111 immediately if you see anyone in danger, so emergency services can get there as soon as possible.
If someone is being swept downstream, the only safe rescue is a land-based rescue. Do not enter the river after them. It is unlikely you will be able to reach them to help them and you may need to be rescued yourself.
If you cannot rescue the person safely from the bank: