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Missing boatie - Wellington Harbour

"Missing boatie - Wellington Harbour - Wellington"

A search is currently underway for a person missing in Wellington Harbour off the entrance of the Hutt River.

The male, aged in his 40's, and his companion were in a small boat at that location just after 5pm when he fell into the water and was swept into the main harbour by the current.

It is believed he was not wearing a life jacket.

Wellington Maritime Police, Coastguard and Airport Fire Rescue boats were all activated for a sea search, complemented by an air search by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and a large number of Police staff operating along the shoreline.

The Hutt River is currently at a very high level and is extremely discoloured due to the outflow of the last periods of rain, making conditions dangerous and underwater visibility nonexistent.

It is understood the two persons were retrieving nets at the time but the reason for them venturing into that area in such circumstances is yet to be established.

This incident was complicated when Westpac and Airport Fire resources had to be temporarily diverted to investigate a report of a boatie being swept out to sea near Lyall Bay on Wellington’s south coast.

At the same time a further report was received of 4 persons who had fallen out of their boat in Titahi Bay north of Wellington and staff were subsequently deployed to that event also.

Fortunately both of these incidents were resolved quickly without issue and the full search of the Hutt River incident was resumed, however the missing person has yet to be found.

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