Wayne Thompson at NZ Herald reports:
Parents have been stopped from “tandem” riding with their young children down hydroslides at Auckland aquatic centres.
One bemused parent, Michael Pleciak, was told by Mt Albert Aquatic Centre lifeguards on Saturday that his daughter Eva, 6, could not use the slide because it was too dangerous for anyone under 8, even if they are sliding with an adult.
“It is ridiculous,” he said.
“Eva has been on that slide for a month.
“She had a nervous start and I was accompanying her down as all parents do and she got her courage up.
“She has gone down at least half a dozen times with her 8-year-old sister or me.
Bureaucratic rules defy common sense.
Pool manager Paul Kite said Eva missed her treat because of confusion between a no-tandem rule from Auckland Council health and safety and the aquatic industry standard of requiring children under 5 to be within arm’s reach at all times.
He said 5- to 8-year-olds were allowed on the slide providing their parents or caregiver were at the bottom of the slide supervising them.
“It means, unfortunately, that mums and dads cannot go down the slide with their kids between their legs. Under 5-year-olds won’t be allowed to go down on their own.
The council said the rule was recommended by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
However, a ministry spokesman could not confirm the reason.
Paging Steven Joyce, paging Steven Joyce. Please apply some boot somewhere.
Talking of hydroslides though, it does remind me of an unfortunate incident when I was 18 and we were using the water slide at Moana Pool. It is or was a totally enclosed slide.
There were half a dozen of us there and the game we developed is one of us would go down first, stop halfway and then turn around and stand up. Then the rest of would shoot down through their legs. We did this several times and all good fun.
But then on one of the times it was my turn to go first, something went wrong. Someone else got in front of my friends. I had stopped and was standing in the tunnel waiting for my friends to power down. I then heard a noise, sounding like crashing thunder. Then the tunnel got darker and darker as all the light from the top got blocked out. Then crashing around the corner came a huge Samoan woman who was literally taking up the entire tunnel. No way could I turn around and start sliding down in time. With just a few moments of terror I then got smashed into by said woman, and spent the next 30 seconds semi-conscious stuck under her hurtling down the slide as she (rightfully) yelled at me in Samoan. Finally we shot out the end and my friends pulled me out of the pool, in-between fits of laughter. I felt like I had lost a wrestling match with a steam roller.
So my only advice for water slide safety is never stop!Tags: water slides