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'Ban river boarding' PLEA: Father's fury at 'scandalous' safety procedures after daughter's death.

Byline: By Paul Bradley

THE father of 21-year-old woman who died while river boarding in New Zealand today called for the sport to be banned.

Law graduate Emily Jordan, from Trimpley, Worcestershire, drowned when she became trapped between rocks in the Kawarau River Gorge, near Queenstown, on New Zealand's South Island, in April.

She had been riding on a body board on fast-flowing rapids on an organised trip with her boyfriend, Jonny Armour, aged 23, when the accident happened.

The company who organised the activity, Black Sheep Adventures Ltd, which trades as Mad Dog River Surfing, and its director, Brad Alexander McLeod, appeared in a New Zealand court recently to face six charges under the Health and Safety Employment Act 1992.

Each charge carries a maximum fine of EURNZ250,000 or pounds 90,000.

Today, Emily's father, Chris Jordan, said he was happy that the company had been charged but said much more needed to be done to protect young people abroad.

He said: "Emily was a keen Scuba diver and was extremely competent in the water.

"But the safety briefing she received before the activity lasted no more than two or three minutes.

"It is scandalous.

"The activity is not regulated at all and despite my daughter's death young people are still being taken riverboarding without the proper safety training or a proper briefing on the dangers they may face. The activity needs to be banned until somebody takes responsibilty and regulates it.

"If that doesn't happen, it is only a matter of time until somebody else gets killed."

Maritime New Zealand, who brought the charges against Black Sheep Adventures Ltd, said they were working with the river boarding and sledging industry to develop further safety standards as well as a code of practice.

All three Queenstown adventure sports operators have put their employees through a three-day health and safety course.

An inquest into Ms Jordan's death was opened in West Bromwich in May but Black Country coroner Robin Balmain adjourned the hearing pending a full inquiry in New Zealand.

CAPTION(S):

Emily Jordan, who died last April, and boyfriend Jonny Armour
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 9, 2008
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