The depth of experience in the Shotover Jet boat driver team was marked this week with two drivers clocking up significant milestones.
Celebrating major anniversaries – Shotover Jet drivers Nick Simpson (L) and Mike Topp have clocked up the kilometres at their Queenstown river base
Nick Simpson, 41, who has worked for Shotover Jet for over 13 years, clocked up 15,000 trips through the famous Shotover Canyons, and 37-year-old Mike Topp, a driver with the company for the past decade, reached his 10,000th trip.
Shotover Jet Business Manager Clark Scott said summer business for the company had been “stellar”. “It’s good to recognise these driver anniversaries as it’s hugely rewarding for all of us to have a workplace culture that encourages long-term team members which in turn enables us to build this depth of experience.
“It impacts positively on safety, training and leadership across the entire team.”
In April 2014, a career highlight for Nick was taking members of the Royal party travelling with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge down the Shotover River in a trip that was publicised around the world.
Meanwhile Mike Topp described the anniversaries as “no big fuss.”
“It’s business as usual for us both, especially at the moment when we’re so busy and everyone’s enjoying long days in the sunshine.”
To put this into perspective, Nick has driven an astounding 240,000km on the water, while Mike has notched up an equally impressive 160,000km. Both have spent additional time behind the wheel on training trips and on the company’s daily ‘recce’ of ever-changing river conditions.
Shotover Jet recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of continuous operation, after starting operations on the upper Shotover River in 1965. It helped put New Zealand on the global tourism map and is still growing, last year carrying over 140,000 people from around the world.