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UPDATE 3 – Water rescue, Lake Wakatipu

"UPDATE 3 – Water rescue, Lake Wakatipu"

Statement attributable to Inspector Olaf Jensen, Area Commander Otago Lakes Central

Today the Police Dive Squad will be investigating the viability of using sonar equipment to assist with the recovery of the skydiver missing at Lake Wakatipu.

Given the nature of the incident and the time that has past the ongoing Police activity is focussed on a recovery operation rather than a rescue.

The missing skydiver was a client taking part in a tandem jump.

He is a foreign national and Police are working with consulate staff to advise and support next of kin.

The jump master from NZONE Skydive has been released from hospital.

Police were alerted to the incident at around 1.30pm yesterday after reports two skydivers had landed in Lake Wakatipu near Jack’s Point.

A private vessel and helicopter were in the area at the time of the incident and self-tasked in rescuing the jump master from the lake within approximately 20 minutes of the two men entering the lake.

Police would like to acknowledge the individuals involved in the rescue of the jump master.

The timely response in recovering the jump master was critical to ensuring his survival.

A full rescue operation on the water and by air was commenced immediately after the incident to search for the missing man.

Up to 12 vessels were involved in the on-water search yesterday, this search was co-ordinated by Coastguard.

The on-water search was suspended at around 4.30pm when it was determined that if the missing man was on the lake surface then the extensive water and aerial search would have located him.

A shoreline search by LandSAR and Coastguard volunteers was also unsuccessful.

The work of volunteers to support the search efforts yesterday is greatly appreciated.

ENDS

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