30 Nov 2012

Use red on warning signs - coroner

8:26 pm on 30 November 2012

A coroner says the Department of Conservation needs better warning signs at a swimming spot near Wanaka where a boy died after been pinned to rocks by a waterfall.

Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar has ruled Dion Latta died from hypothermia after the incident at Motatapu in January.

The 15-year-old had been exploring the waterfall with friends and family when hewas swept off a rock and pinned upside down.

He was able to take breaths but the pressure of the water was so strong, it took friends and search and rescue experts three hours to free him.

Mr Crerar says the area is extremely dangerous and though DoC has upgraded the warning signs since the incident, it should make them a different colour to all its other signs.

He says red, white and black would get people's attention more effectively.

Mr Crerar praised the rescuers for their bravery.

He says parts of the Motatapu Gorge are extremely dangerous but should still be accessible to the public.