13 Nov 2008

Police divers join search for teenager

3:51 pm on 13 November 2008

A police dive squad has been brought in to help search for a teenager who went missing while swimming in the Clutha River in Central Otago.

The 16-year-old was swimming with a friend below the Roxburgh Dam on Tuesday afternoon when he got into difficulty.

Police believe the boy may have got stuck under a rock or a tree stump in the fast-flowing river.

Search coordinator Senior Sergeant Mike Cook says it is a dangerous stretch of water and difficult for the two police divers to search in.

Mr Cook says searchers in boats were making another sweep of the river on Thursday afternoon. The Clyde Coastguard says about 25 people have been searching a 12 kilometre stretch of the river using jet boats, a jet ski and a helicopter.

Locals describe the spot where he disappeared as treacherous, with strong swirling currents and whirlpools that can suck swimmers below the water.

Body of Greymouth man found

Meanwhile, the body of a Greymouth man who fell out of a canoe on the Grey River, on the West Coast, last weekend was found on Wednesday.

Nicholas McAlister, 32, went missing in the Grey River on Saturday afternoon when his canoe overturned in rapids. Another man and three children swam ashore.

Police say a member of the public located a body in the river near Sid's Road on Wednesday morning.

Search for diver called off

The search for a diver off the South Canterbury coast has been called off.

Kevin Bailey, 63, was reported missing on Monday by two companions diving at the Holmglen wreck off the coast of Timaru.

Searchers using Coastguard and fishing vessels, two helicopters and a plane spent two days scouring the area around the wreck, but failed to find any sign of him.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre says it was a difficult decision to call off the search.

Boating accident man named

Police in Northland have issued the name of the man who died in a weekend boating accident in the Bay of Islands.

He was Daniel Maaka Te Pania, 60, of Whangarei.

Mr Te Pania was one of three people in a small boat that capsized near Opua on Sunday afternoon.

His companions managed to swim ashore and raise the alarm. Mr Te Pania's body was found in the water a short time later.