Trampers urged to be cautious around rivers after body found in Hawke's Bay

Trampers are urged to look for signs a river may be dangerous.
Trampers are urged to look for signs a river may be dangerous. Photo credit: Getty

Outdoor enthusiasts are being told to err on the side of caution when heading out for a walk after the body of a missing tramper was found in the Hawke's Bay on Tuesday.

The Police believe the person got into trouble when crossing the Makaroro River at Gold Creek Ridge in the Ruahine Ranges and their body was swept away downstream.

Mountain Safety Council Chief Executive Mike Daisley says it is a reminder of how dangerous rivers can be.

River crossings are the second-highest direct cause of tramper fatalities, behind falls. There have been 13 river crossing fatalities involving trampers since July 1, 2007, a further five involving hunters and one trail runner.

Daisley's urging trampers to trust their gut and look for signs while outdoors.

"You can almost feel it. Rivers, when they are really at high volume, some of that noise can go up your spidey senses and it doesn't seem right."

Daisley says it is crucial for trampers to assess the river before they cross and there will be indicators if it is dangerous.

"If you start to cross a river and it just doesn't feel right, the river's running faster than expected and you can feel it starting to pull at your feet. Just carefully back up.

"If it's clearly swollen, clearly flooded, and that's often the case on the way up, then make the decision not to cross. Maybe wait it out on the river bank or somewhere close by."

Other signs a river may be unsafe to cross include brown water, flooding, debris, the sound of rocks moving, and the water moving faster than walking pace.

Daisley is urging trampers to read river safety resources and use the 'mutual support technique' for those making crossings.