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Found Kayak - Update

Found Kayak - Update

New Zealand Police Wellington News Release

26 February 2008

An extensive sea search yesterday and today has failed to find any trace of the occupant of a kayak that was found washed up on the Pencarrow coastline in Wellington on Monday afternoon.

Wellington Police Maritime Unit, Wellington Volunteer Coastguard, Police SAR Squad members and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter combed approximately 80 square kilometres of water including Wellington Harbour and coastline, the Entrance and open water out to Cook Strait.

Police believe the missing kayaker is Shane Harwood, aged 27, of no fixed abode. He is described as a heavily tattooed, skinny male.

Police confirmed that Mr Harwood purchased the 2.5 metre kayak from Cash Converters in Lower Hutt last week, and that he may have been trying to paddle around the harbour from Petone to the Wainuiomata Coast Road.

Mr Harwood was spoken to by a friend on the Petone foreshore on Saturday morning; several members of the public also reported seeing a person matching his description in the same area that morning, then later in the day at Freyberg Beach in Oriental Bay. It is believed he was sleeping rough over night and attempting to paddle to the Wainuiomata Coast Road.

The last probable sighting of him was on Monday morning at Mahanga Bay on the Miramar peninsula. He was last seen paddling towards Point Halswell in rough sea conditions and in strong winds; he was not wearing a lifejacket or wetsuit.

The location and condition of the kayak and paddle found yesterday are consistent with Mr Harwood falling out of his kayak sometime on Monday in or near the Wellington Channel; Police have not managed to ascertain whether or not he made it to shore.

Anyone with further information regarding the whereabouts of Mr Harwood are requested to call Wellington Police on 381 2000.

ENDS


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