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Search For Missing Wellington Diver Update

Search For Missing Wellington Diver Update
New Zealand Police National News Release
8:35pm 8 December 2007


A marine and aerial search will continue tomorrow for a diver who has been missing off the Wellington coast since this morning.

Sergeant Jo Holden, Wellington Police Search and Rescue coordinator, said the search has been suspended tonight for the missing 38-year-old woman and will resume again tomorrow morning.

There's been no sign of the woman who failed to surface with her dive buddy off Boom Rock following an early morning dive.

Several boats including the Police launch Lady Elizabeth III, Coastguard vessels from Mana and Kapiti, private vessels, the Kapiti Air Patrol, Westpac and Helipro helicopters have spent the day searching a huge 285 square nautical miles of sea. They were joined this afternoon by police divers but the search was suspended about 8pm tonight.

The search zone has extended from Mana Island down to Karori Rock and across Cook Strait to The Brothers with no sign of the woman.

Police divers joined the search this afternoon.

Sergeant Holden said police divers, Maritime Unit officers, Coastguard vessels and a helicopter will continue the search tomorrow.

The woman, whose name has not yet been released, was in a private party of four. They had left Paremata and had been diving in ideal water when the woman and her buddy became separated shortly before surfacing.

Fellow divers searched for her without success and put a call on the marine emergency channel 16. Police were alerted by the Rescue Coordination Centre.

A rescue sausage was found during today's search but it is not yet confirmed if it belongs to the woman.

Ends


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