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Rescues and Search for Missing Woman, Northland

"Rescues and Search for Missing Woman - Haruru Falls - Northland"

Police and Fire Service used helicopters, jet skis and IRBs to assist in the rescue of several people stranded by flood waters at the Waitangi River,Haruru Falls.

About 6am this morning police were alerted to a woman who was hanging onto a tree in the river.

It is believed the woman came from a nearby house where the occupants had
been partying most of the night.

It is believed she was swept away while trying to get back to the house from her partially submerged vehicle.

The area was extensively flooded and there were strong currents across paddocks leading into the Waitangi River.

When Police and Fire arrived at the scene they found another three people either stuck in trees or on top of car and shed roofs.

They began rescuing these people using helicopters, jet skis, IRBs and ropes and managed to rescue two people who had spent a long time in the water.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Skyworks Helicopter and Police Search and Rescue (SAR) staff attended the scene and also lifted one person from a shed roof.

The helicopters and SAR staff continued an air search of the Waitangi River in treacherous conditions in an effort to locate the missing woman.

The woman is believed to be a visitor to the area from the Wellington region.

Victim Support and Police are liaising with the next of kin.

The incident was managed from the Northland Police District Command Centre and the courageous efforts of Police and Fire staff and local civilians led to the successful rescue of three stranded people.

Police are continuing land and boat searches today for the missing woman and will continue tomorrow if necessary.

The flood waters are now receding.

Northland Police Deployment Manager Inspector Greg Dunn

ENDS

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