14 Jan 2013

Police to scale down Clutha River search for teen

8:45 pm on 14 January 2013

Police and rescue teams have been unsuccessful in trying to find a teenager missing on the Clutha River despite an extensive search.

Blake Sinclair from the Clutha Valley was kneeboarding off a jetboat with his family in the Waitahuna confluence area when he fell and failed to resurface.

On Monday the search included the police national dive squad, 18 jetboats and 25 search and rescue staff.

Four members of the dive squad spent the day searching an area downstream from where the 18-year-old was last seen.

The squad continued to look for him until Monday night, but police said that search would be scaled down from Tuesday.

Crews from four jetboats would also search along the riverbank near where Mr Sinclair was last seen. The family also planned to continue a private search.

Parents Raewyn and Mark Sinclair on Monday afternoon issued a statement, describing their son as a great boy who loved the outdoors and had grown up jetboating around the South Otago area.

They thanked searchers for what they described as the "immense efforts to find their dear lad Blake".