Pare­mata bridge jumpers risk their lives and oth­ers

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Jump­ing into the water from the rail and road bridges at Pare­mata is al­ways pop­u­lar when the sun is blaz­ing but comes with the sea­sonal call for swim­mers and boaters to be cau­tious.

Porirua City coun­cil­lor Anita Baker says im­prove­ments need to be made af­ter be­ing con­tacted by con­cerned boat­ies, who launch nearby. There have been a num­ber of near misses, she says.

Ms Baker has no prob­lem with peo­ple jump­ing from the bridges but would like bet­ter sig­nage alert­ing boat­ies to the pas­time. And jumpers need to be re­minded about stay­ing safe in the chan­nel.

‘‘Most lo­cals know that kids jump in and where to look for them, but you do have boat­ies from out of town launch­ing at Mana that are not aware. [This is] pri­mar­ily an is­sue for the har­bour­mas­ter, which is funded by the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil, but I have sought an­swers from PCC staff.’’

Har­bour­mas­ter Mike Pryce says jump­ing off Pare­mata Bridge is dan­ger­ous.

‘‘The jumpers can’t see boats coming un­der the bridge and could hit a boat on the way down. And when they’re in the water they could eas­ily be run over and se­verely in­jured by a pro­pel­ler.’’

Mr Pryce says there are warn­ing signs for boat­ies about bridge jumpers and GWRC staff mon­i­tor the area of­ten.

‘‘But at the end of the day, peo­ple really need to stop jump­ing off the bridge – they risk life-threat­en­ing in­juries to them­selves and oth­ers.’’

Ms Baker wants PCC to take a more proac­tive role over this is­sue.

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