It’s unsafe no matter what – dad

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Grieving UK father remains unmoved.

The father of the English tourist drowned in a Kawarau River boarding accident remains critical of the adventure activity – despite official moves to make it safer.

Chris Jordan, father of 21-year-old Emily Louise Jordan – who died in April this year during a Mad Dog River Boarding trip – told 3 News last Sunday he’s relieved safety guidelines are finally being put in place but he doubts the activity will ever be safe.

Draft safety guidelines were intro­duced last week­­­­end during the boarding industry’s first river rescue training workshop on the Kawarau.

Organised by the New Zealand Rafting Association and Maritime NZ (MNZ), the workshop saw about 30 guides from Queenstown and Rotorua undertake on-­water, scenario-based train­­ing near the Roaring Meg power station – the fatal stretch of river that claimed Emily’s life.

Some of NZ’s top whitewater rafting experts were flown in to show guides how to handle situations like river hazards, rope entanglement, first aid – and rescuing a trapped boarder.

The workshop and guidelines are part of an industry-wide safety review as a result of MNZ’s investigation into Emily’s death.

MNZ is prosecuting Black Sheep Adventures, trading as Mad Dog River Boarding, and owner Brad McLeod under the Health & Safety in Employment Act – the first court hearing’s scheduled for Monday.

However, Chris Jordan, who recently told Mountain Scene the activity should be banned altogether, says he wasn’t officially notified of the charges – he found out when a reporter from another newspaper phoned him at 3am British time.

In an earlier interview with Mountain Scene, Jordan says he’s disappointed the NZ authorities haven’t kept him up to date with investigations and be­­lieves the process has been “very slow”.

“I asked four months ago to be supplied with the buoyancy lift of the [lifejacket] supplied. To this day I have not received a response to this or the many other questions in my letter to the NZ Coroner in May.”