1 May 2010

Tourists told off for jumping into swollen lake

6:39 pm on 1 May 2010

Queenstown's mayor has denounced the actions of several tourists who jumped into the swollen waters of Lake Wakatipu in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The tourists were on the foreshore in an area closed to pedestrians because of the ongoing flood risk when they jumped off the seawall into the lake.

Mayor Clive Geddes says the combination of alcohol and cold water can be lethal and should not be taken lightly. He says both tourists and locals should stay out of cordoned off areas for their own safety.

The immediate flood risk has eased for now, with lake levels unchanged on Saturday, but Mr Geddes says the town could be on flood alert for weeks.

The lake level is expected to peak sometime before Monday morning and remain above flood warning levels for another 10 days.

The lake has already spilled over onto parts of the foreshore but rain forecast for Monday and Thursday is not expected to have a significant impact.

Some businesses on the waterfront reopened on Saturday morning but many remained closed, behind sandbags.