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Two dead after freak weather change turns New Zealand rafting trip into tragedy

Nine other people after sudden waves swamped their kayaks.

Lake Tekapo on New Zealand's South Island.
Lake Tekapo on New Zealand's South Island.

TWO PEOPLE DIED and nine others rescued after a kayaking trip on New Zealand’s Lake Tekapo was hit by an unexpected weather change.

Police inspector Dave Gaskin, mid-south Canterbury area commander, told Radio New Zealand that those rescued were suffering hypothermia and taken to hospital.

Gaskin said the group was caught by a strong wind on scenic Lake Tekapo in New Zealand’s South Island and had found themselves in the water.

“They got into difficulty when they’d unexpectedly been hit by a strong wind, and they’d been pushed further out into the lake,” he told the broadcaster.

“We think they were in the water — they’d been swamped, and they’d come out of their kayaks — and they’d been in the water for up to an hour.”

A local resident, who did not want to be named, told the New Zealand Herald that there had been a very strong wind on the lake on Friday afternoon although the newspaper said no official weather warnings were in place.

© – AFP 2015

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