River Valley

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Tributes 2017-04-30T06:21:16+00:00


This page has been set up following the tragic death of Tor Prestmo, a Norwegian River Guide doing his New Zealand River Guides Asssessment on the Rangitikei River on the 20th October 2007.

We sincerely hope that Tor’s Tribute will be the only content that ever appears on this page.

Tor Prestmo

Tor Prestmo, 24, arrived in New Zealand the beginning of October 2007, aiming to upskill his whitewater rafting guiding skills before returning home after summer to the alpine community of Oppdal in Norway.

He was undergoing his NZ River Guides assessment with River Valley.

Tor, however died on Saturday the 20th October 2007, when one of two rafts on a commercial trip overturned at Fulcrum Rapid on the Rangitikei River.

His body was found wedged under a rock under the water almost a day later.

Tor was an experienced and eager rafter, who had worked as a rafting guide in Norway since 2002. Tor was also an extreme skier and on the verge of major sponsorshop.

“River Valley staff, who had become friends with Tor and who helped retrieve his body, were devastated by the tragedy. There was however some “closure” for them in being able to personally retrieve Tor’s body. Inviting local Kaumatua, (Maori Elder), Rangi Hawira, to conduct a service at the river’s edge on Sunday afternoon, the day that Tor’s body was found and extracted from the river, was an important part of that process. The service was attended by all the rescue personnel involved, River Valley staff, and others affected by the tragedy.

Everyone at River Valley has been intensely grateful in the way that the strong river community in the area had bonded together, and assisted in retrieving Tor’s body. We have also been humbled with the level of support from the industry, friends, past customers, and even from Norway.”

Our hearts will always go out to Tor’s family and friends at home in Oppdal, Norway.

We borrow the following words from the Iwi of the Whanganui River, words which express their relationship with their River, but to us also express the relationship between a river guide and any river –

” Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au”

“I am the river and the river is me”