Hazards found in creek clean-up

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 01/04/2014
timaru raules creek clean up
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WATER DANGERS: A clean-up of Raules Creek, near the Rangitata River, revealed fence posts, barbed wire and other dangerous items just below the surface.

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A clean-up of a popular kayaking spot near Geraldine has revealed several potentially dangerous objects.

Peel Forest Outdoor Centre staff spent a day near Raules Creek cleaning up material, in the wake of the rain and wind over summer.

During their exercise, they discovered old fenceposts, barbed wire and plastic from kayaks.

Outdoor Centre director Andre Schoneveld said much of it was a result of some of the riverbanks eroding during the high winds last winter. "We were really surprised what we found down there," Schoneveld said. "It's a popular spot for kayaking, but a lot of the hazards would not have been visible for people. If they hadn't been found, it could have been a real safety risk."

Schoneveld said the fences were particularly difficult to collect.

"If people get entangled with them, they cause a drowning trap, often there is only a single wire or two visible, but many more wires and posts just below the surface," he said.

Schoneveld said the group would organise clean-ups of other popular kayaking spots over the next few months.

"Everything we can do which makes the water safer for people is worth it. More than 40 per cent of drownings in Canterbury are in our rivers, people have to be aware of the hazards," he said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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