As one who attended this year's Bluff Oyster Festival on Saturday, I have written to thank the festival committee, Bluff fire brigade, St John Ambulance personnel and licensed security officers for the timely and competent manner in which the festival site was evacuated after storm-force weather conditions set in at midday.
A wind strength of 72 knots was noted, over a period of more than an hour, while at Ruapuke Island it was reportedly in excess of 80 knots at the same time when forecasts predicted velocities of about half such. During this time the grounds were safely cleared by self-disciplined spectators.
The organisers' decision to evacuate in the interest of safety deserves commendation, given that operational limits of marquees, etc, were near optimal with Party Plus staff on hand also working very well under most difficult circumstances.
- The Southland Times