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Concerns for man seen by Waikato River

Concerns for man seen by Waikato River

Bay of Plenty, 5 August 2014 - Police in Taupo have concerns for the welfare of a man seen standing in a precarious position over the Waikato River in Taupo this afternoon at approximately 3.20pm.

A woman was driving past the Control Gate Bridge where the Thermal Explorer Highway meets Tongariro Street when she spotted the man. He was walking along a concrete structure over the water that can only be reached by climbing a fence and appeared to be gesticulating to himself. She was sufficiently concerned to drive by again by which time he was then sitting down on the structure. She contacted police as did a second person driving by.

Officers were very quickly on scene but there was no sign of the man.

Lake Taupo Coastguard carried out a preliminary search of the river and Police carried out local area enquiries and checks of available CCTV in the area. The Police Dive Squad is heading to Taupo to carry out further searching in the morning.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that the man simply left the area of his own accord in the short time between the witnesses contacting police and officers arriving. If that is the case police would urge the man in question to make contact as soon as possible and provide assurance he is safe and well.

Police also want to hear from anyone who knows who this man might be, or has any concerns for the welfare of someone fitting his description. He is described a Maori, medium build, wearing a grey sweatshirt, light jean shorts and a hat. Age is unclear.

No one fitting the description has been reported missing.

ENDS

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