Queenstown skiers vouch for use of safety helmets

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A Queenstown skiing family is backing calls for helmets to be compulsory after experiencing a close call. 

Two deaths at Mt Hutt ski field in the past month have prompted Christchurch Hospital head neurosurgeon Martin MacFarlane to call for safety helmets to be made mandatory. 

Local skier Molly Fulton agrees with the neurosurgeon. 

Fulton’s niece suffered whiplash which “put her out of action for six months”, after being hit from behind by a boarder two years ago. Her niece’s helmet – which had a large gash in the back afterwards – prevented more severe injuries, inspiring her wider family to religiously don head protection. 

“If she hadn’t worn a helmet, she would’ve taken her scalp off,” Fulton says. The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence says the skifield recommends people wear helmets, which are compulsory for all staff who ski or board as part of the job. 

Helmets can be hired on the hill for $12 a day.