Wakatipu jetski accident leaves driver in hospital

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Queenstown harbourmaster Marty Black is looking for the perpetrator of a possible hit-and-run jetski accident on the Kawarau River last night.

Black says the Christchurch police communications centre reported about 8pm that there’d been a jetski accident and that one person was missing.

“There was a good response,” says Black, who took to the river on his jetski with help from Coastguard Queenstown, a helicopter and a Kawarau Jet jetboat.

A severely mangled private Kawasaki jetski was found about 200m above the confluence of the Shotover, in a little bay amongst trees.

“It’s a mess.

“The person who was injured on the ski apparently walked through Boyd Road, maybe hitched a ride,” Black says.

He says the driver, a male aged in his early 20s, was transferred to Dunedin Hospital this morning with facial injuries and apparently little memory of the incident.

Black is fairly sure the accident was caused by another jetski riding over the top of the Kawasaki.

“A big boat would have sunk this jetski so it was probably another jetski.”

Does he suspect a hit and run?

Black: “It probably could be said to be that.

“It’s probably a couple of guys fooling around, maybe one didn’t look or didn’t think, turned the wrong way.

“And the problem is they’re that fast and manoeuvrable.

“Here’s a warning for everybody at the start of the season about speed and keeping your distance.”

Black is wanting to hear from anyone who may have sighted another vessel and driver at the time of the accident.

Black can be contacted on 0274-345-289.