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Police seek identity of man who leapt off Hamilton bridge

Hamilton Police seek identity of man who leapt off City bridge

Hamilton Police are appealing for anyone who may know the identity of a man who leapt from a bridge over the Waikato River to come forward to help identify this person.

Acting Senior Sergeant Craig Singer said Police were contacted by a number of people in relation to a man seen jumping from the Claudelands Bridge into the river about 2.20pm.

"Witnesses saw a male Maori aged in his early twenties of medium build with short dark hair wearing dark grey jeans and hooded sweatshirt with dark blue boxer shorts was heading east from the City on to the bridge and climb up on to the rail.

"He has sat on the rail for a short period before coming back down, pulled his pants up and then climbed back on the bridge and jumped off."

Mr Singer said the man landed a short distance from a jetskier who overcame his initial surprise and began searching for him.

"Other witness raised the alarm and the man was seen surfacing about 50m away for about 15 seconds and was heard calling for help before going under again, he hasn't resurfaced since and the Police Rescue Boat was launched to commence a search for him.

"The Wellington based Police National Dive Squad has been activated and it is hope they will arrive in Hamilton by plane early this evening to assist with the search for the man."

Mr Singer said Police hoped the man would be readily identifiable to friends or relatives by a physical impediment.

"Witnesses describe the man as having a noticeably lame left leg and that he was walking with a pronounced limp, we're hoping that combined with his description this may prompt people who know him to make contact with us."

Anyone with any information on the identity of the man is asked to contact the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.


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