Water safety tips
Suss the water first
Rivers change every day. Before you jump, check out the water. Is it moving faster than usual? Are there logs or other debris that weren’t there last time? How deep is it? If it’s brown and you can’t see well, back down. Make sure the water is clear, deep, and there’s nothing in your way. No good? Choose another spot.
Swim with the bros
Or the girls! Swimming with mates means there is someone there to help if you get into trouble. Drowning takes less than a minute, so a mate on shore could save your life.
Know your limits
That river can have a quick current. How well can you swim? And where’s your exit point? Try to jump so you float downstream to your exit point, instead of battling the current up to it. Have a backup plan if you miss your exit, where’s the next best spot to get out? If you’re tired, take a break. Look after the little ones too, sometimes they do too much.
Respect the river
The Waikato River is powerful, don’t underestimate it. She stops flowing for no one, and drowning can happen to you.
Manu with Mana
You can still have fun, swim and pop manus all summer long. It’s simple stuff – just do your safety checks, keep an eye out for each other, and koorero with your mates about how to stay safe.
Top tip: Hand signals
Our friends at Splash Unit know how to Manu with Mana. They use simple hand signals to communicate after a jump if they are ok, or need help.
If you’re ok = closed fist on top of your head
If you need help = closed fist, hand raised in the air.
This kaupapa was brought to you in collaboration with Hamilton City Council, Waipā District Council, Waikato Regional Council, Waikato Tainui and Water Safety New Zealand.