Cyclist takes unplanned morning dip

WET SURPRISE: Karl Wakelin checks the bike of girlfriend Amelie Goldberg after she and her wheels took a plunge in the harbour. Diver Nigel Bullock and maritime police officer Ross Lane look on.
06/05/2009, By PAUL EASTON - The Dominion Post

wet surprise

A gentle bike ride to work came to a soggy end for Amelie Goldberg, when she clipped a pedestrian and plunged two metres into Wellington Harbour.

Witnesses were quick to call police yesterday, but Ms Goldberg climbed out of the water herself, thanks to a handily placed ladder.

"As I fell, I remember thinking this can't be happening, this is just ridiculous."

The man she accidentally collided with at 8.30am had disappeared by the time she emerged from the harbour.

"Maybe he didn't notice what had happened. We were coming towards each other, there was a bit of confusion about how we were going to pass, I clipped his bag, and then suddenly I was heading for the side."

The police dive squad retrieved Ms Goldberg's bike from the water.

"They were awesome," she said. A passerby gave her $10 for a taxi.

Senior Sergeant Ross Lane of Wellington maritime police said the harbour plunge was the second in the past year, while less serious collisions were common.

"It is a bit of an issue. There just needs to be a bit more care."

A white lane could be painted on some narrower stretches of the waterfront to keep waterfront users apart, he said.

Ms Goldberg, a policy analyst at the Environment Ministry, had a scraped leg after her unscheduled swim outside the Loaded Hog, but was otherwise unhurt.

"All I want now is a hot shower and a change of clothes."

Dive squad member Nigel Bullock retrieved her bike, handbag and cellphone. He said it was an easy assignment, despite poor visibility and a scattering of chairs, probably hurled into the harbour by pubgoers.