Sadly, we are now in a position to provide industry, though FISC, more information relating to the fatal incident that occurred on 17 August. The information is as follows:
Date: 17 August
Location: Wairau Valley, Marlborough
Person: 20 year old brother, keen hunter and fisherman
Activity: Ground based harvesting crew
Terrain: Steep hill country of 35 degrees slope. Well-formed roads and tracks in use. On the day of the accident the road was ankle deep in wet mud on a solid rock base. The weather was cold with blustery winds and there had been rain in the morning.
Circumstances: A skidder was returning to pick up a drag along a well formed ‘track’ formerly used by log trucks. The skidder has veered off the track and over the edge, rolling approximately 245 meters and coming to rest on a lower formed track. The skidder was equipped with chains on its front tyres, and no issues have been found with tyre condition.
The operator was wearing a lap seat belt and the skidder had a certified operator protective structure. We are continuing to investigate this incident and are unable to determine the exact cause at this stage.
Our thoughts are with the family, workmates and loved ones.