From the UtahRafters email list.
My condolences to his family and friends.
'Whitewater Outlaw' presumed dead in Southland River
By DEBBIE JAMIESON - The Press | Tuesday, 16 January 2007
An American kayaker who is missing, presumed dead, in a Southland River
was an experienced kayaker who wrote two guidebooks on whitewater kayaking
in New York State.
Dennis Alan Squires, 49, and his kayak are still believed to be trapped
beneath a rapid on the Waikaia River, about 70km north of Gore.
An extensive search was launched on Saturday afternoon but was scaled back
on Sunday night as water levels rose following heavy rain, Constable Jacob
Schriek, of Riversdale, said.
"There can be no further investigation of the rapid at the scene of the
mishap until there has been a reduction of the flow in the river," Schriek
"One of the possibilities is that over the next few days changes in river
flow will release the trapped boat and paddler," he said.
Squires self-published his first book, New York Exposed: The Whitewater
State Volume One, in 2002. In a subsequent article, The Daily Star in New
York quotes him saying he always loved water but became hooked on kayaking
in the late 1980s.
Otherwise known as the Whitewater Outlaw, Squires told the paper he lived
a nomadic lifestyle, wandering the United States and kayaking wherever the
opportunity arose. He worked as a raft guide and safety boater guiding
others down rivers.
He came to New Zealand for a two-month kayaking trip in November. The
Waikaia River is said to be one of the top 100 rivers for kayaking in New
Zealand. It is graded four to five and considered suitable for experienced
kayakers only. The toughest rivers to kayak are grade six. People in the
area have described the upper reaches of the river as unforgiving with 9m
to 12m waterfalls.
It claimed the life of another overseas visitor, British military officer
James Robert Lowe Acton, 27, in 2003, after he was pinned vertically
between two rocks on the river.
New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association safety officer Glenn Murdoch
said the Waikaia River was known as difficult and challenging because of
its steepness and the large number of rocks within it.
"Often overseas kayakers come to New Zealand being very experienced
kayakers but having kayaked on rivers of quite different types." New
Zealand rivers tended to have more large boulders than the bedrock that
could be found overseas, he said.
Schriek said he was not considering putting warning signs in the vicinity
of the Waikaia River.
"These guys, they take part in a sport where they live life on the edge a
bit," he said. "Sometimes someone makes a mistake. Other times they get
away with it and get a buzz. "The difference is luck. It's like walking
tightropes." He said Squires had been kayaking with a friend at about 3pm
on Saturday, near an area known as Welshmans Creek.
His companion paddled the rapid and waited in an eddy below for Squires
who did not appear.
After Squires' paddle washed down, the companion spent 30 minutes climbing
rocks and searching the area before continuing about 2km downstream where
he found a fisherman who was able to raise the alarm. Eastern Southland
Search and Rescue managed the search.