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Search for missing Wellington boatie - update

"Police News Alert Issued ***2.05pm on the 06 January 2014***"

The search for the 49-year-old man who fell into the water at the entrance to the Hutt River yesterday has continued today.

The Police Launch Lady Elizabeth IV and officers on the shore conducted an extensive shoreline search from the mouth of the Hutt River south along the coast of Wellington Harbour.

Unfortunately this has not resulted in the discovery of any items of interest or signs of the male. Further shoreline searches are planned for tomorrow.

Poor visibility levels in and around the Hutt River mouth have prevented the Police National Dive Squad from being deployed.

Police are still contacting family members so are unable to release the name of the man until they have been advised.

The other occupant of the boat has spoken with Police and inquiries are continuing into why the pair were in the area at the time.

Inquiries have confirmed that the man was not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water.

Senior Launchmaster of the Wellington Maritime Unit, Senior Constable Craig Pickering, says "Events like this continue to underscore the importance of always wearing a life jacket when you are on the water".

"River conditions can change rapidly after heavy rain and people can get into strife surprisingly quickly".


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