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Weekend Rescues


Northland District Headquarters
Walton Plaza, Whangärei
Monday March 18, 2013

Police have scaled down their search for the Auckland man who went missing off a Northland beach last week.

Alexy Ivanov was last seen entering the water off Uretiti Beach, south of Whangärei, about 5pm on Wednesday March 13.

Staff at the local Department of Conservation Camp Ground alerted Police about an hour later when they noticed the man's clothes and car were still there and there was no sign of him.

A search has been carried out on the water and shoreline since the man went missing.

The Royal New Zealand Navy was also brought into to assist using its side scan sonar. The torpedo-shaped sonar was deployed underwater outside the surf line and covered an area one kilometre either side of where the man entered the water.

The Navy completed its sonar scan on Saturday and nothing was located.

No searches were carried out on Sunday due to poor weather conditions.

Police have scaled down the search with a small number of staff covering the beach area this morning.

The search for the missing man was part of a busy weekend for Police search and rescue staff.

It began with a sea rescue in the early hours of Saturday morning. Police received a call about 4.30am that a yacht had run onto rocks at North Cape.
The Auckland man, who was sailing the yacht to Houhora, had abandoned the boat and had set off his EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

The Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST) Electricity Rescue Helicopter was sent to the area and managed to winch the man to safety.

Later on Saturday afternoon, about 3.30pm, Police received another call that a man, who had been drinking, had fallen at the Mermaid Pools at Matapouri and broken his ankle. He had been fishing with three other men.
Due to the slippery conditions on the track leading out from the pools, the man had to be airlifted out by the NEST Electricity Rescue Helicopter.

About an hour later Police were alerted to two divers, a man and a woman, who went missing while diving at the Poor Knight Islands. They had been diving at the Northern Arch of the islands.
The NEST Electricity Rescue Helicopter was sent to the scene and spotted the divers' survival sausage balloons. They had been caught in a strong current and had drifted two kilometres north of where they entered the water

On Sunday about 2pm Police were called after a 67-year-old woman broke her ankle while tramping on the McKenzie Limestone Track at Springfield, south of Whangärei. The woman had been tramping with a group of 11 others when she hurt her ankle.

Police Search and Rescue staff went to the track and carried the woman out on a stretcher.

Northland Police Search and Rescue Head Senior Sergeant Clifford Metcalfe said while it was a busy weekend for staff, many of the people who needed rescuing had gone out well-equipped.

The yachtie who ran aground was very well prepared with emergency gear, including good communication equipment, and had informed people of where he was sailing.

"The divers were experienced and had rescue sausages, so we were able to find them quickly."

Mr Metcalfe also praised the tramping group for having some form of communication (cellphone) and being equipped with enough gear for an emergency such as warm and wet weather clothing and a thermal blanket.

"Having all the necessary equipment and some form of communication not only helps us locate people easily, it also prevents an emergency situation turning into a tragedy."

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