Parasailing skateboarder causes Hobart power outage

Tasmanian distributor Aurora Energy cautioned customers about the dangers of powerlines after a potentially lethal incident interrupted electricity supply to more than 1600 customers.

Aurora Energy distribution operations manager Jason King said an incident involving a skateboarder using a parasail caused a 20-minute interruption to power supply in parts of Howrah and Rokeby in the state’s south.

The incident occurred when a parasail, held by a young man on a skateboard, made contact with low-voltage and high-voltage wires near Wentworth Park, a public recreation precinct on Hobart’s eastern shore.

The subsequent electricity outage was restored within 19 minutes by Aurora Energy field staff, who responded immediately to calls from members of the public who witnessed the incident.

“The consequences of this incident could have easily been much more serious than a power outage,” Mr King said.

“The person hanging on to the parasail ropes is lucky to be alive because any contact with live powerlines is often lethal.

“I urge people to be extremely cautious about their proximity to powerlines when doing anything that involves contact with high objects, whether it is controlling a digger, driving a tall vehicle such as a truck or harvester, and even the masts of yachts can place people in danger.

“We want all Tasmanians to look up and look out for powerlines because getting too close to Aurora’s electricity assets can be deadly.

“The person involved in this incident left the scene quickly in a car with friends before he could be spoken to by Aurora crews, but these people should be in no doubt about the serious potential consequences of their actions.”