Evacuation of Paraparaumu Pool

September 10, 2017


A Kāpiti Coast man has spoken out (to Stuff) after a group of mostly elderly, "frozen solid" swimmers, including a person lifted from a pool in a hoist, were evacuated from an aquatic centre in a practice drill.


But, the Kāpiti Coast District Council says drills are necessary for true staff training, and all swimmers eventually received blankets.


Carlos Dellabarca says about 15 to 20 elderly and mobility impaired swimmers hovered outside Coastlands Aquatic Centre in wet swimwear after the evacuation.


He had grabbed his gear bag and towel, but about half of his group headed out without even a towel, he said.


Eventually, they were told to move away from the building, and they would soon get blankets.


Kāpiti Coast District Council parks and recreation manager Alison Law said drills were about testing how prepared the council was in real situations.


"We need our staff to experience the challenge of evacuating the pool during a range of different situations.


"One of the valuable take-aways for our staff from this week's drill is that blankets need to be distributed more quickly in cold weather."


MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said at midday in Paraparaumu on Tuesday there was a 22kph wind from the north/north-east, and the temperature was hitting the day's maximum of 13.5 degrees.

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