Wellington Scoop

Police divers find body of diver, 24, missing off Makara Beach

News from NZ Police
The Police National Dive Squad has this evening recovered the body of the diver who was missing off the coast of Makara. The man’s family have been notified.

“Police would like to thank all involved, especially volunteer Coastguard units, Surf Life Saving, and Wellington LandSAR for their efforts in the search. Community support from local boaties, divers, and business owners was exceptional,” says Senior Sergeant David Houston, Wellington Police Maritime Unit.

The man’s death will now be referred to the Coroner.

Earlier News from NZ Police
The search for a 24-year-old diver missing off the Makara coast has resumed this morning for a third day. Police have deployed the following search teams today in the hunt for the diver:

Lady Elizabeth IV, the Police launch will be searching along with the Mana and Kapiti Coastguards and local Surf Life Saving clubs.

A vessel for the Ministry for Primary Industries is also taking part in the search, along with Kapiti Air Patrol (fixed wing aircraft).

Land SAR are doing a beach search and we’ve also had assistance from the RCCC and Maritime Radio who have been putting out broadcasts.

There has been good support from local boaties and divers and we appreciate this.

Police continue to liaise with the diver’s family and update them on the progress of the Police-co-ordinated search.

The search will be assessed again at lunch time today.

LifeFlight’s Westpac Chopper is part of the search that began last night. You can see from the live tracking that the search has been extensive and still continues.

News from NZ Police – November 14
A search is under way in Makara for a missing diver who was reported overdue yesterday evening. The diver, who had been expected to return at around 4pm, had been diving on his own just off Makara Beach, between Wharehou Bay and Pipinui Point.

A SAR team and a Westpac helicopter were deployed last night to search the area. His gear was located just after 8pm, however they were unable to locate the diver. The search was suspended overnight, and resumed this morning.

A helicopter has been dispatched again this morning, and Coastguard, the Lady Elizabeth and Surf Life Saving are searching the water close to shore.

A LandSAR team is also conducting a land based search along the shoreline.

UPDATE from NZ Police
Rescue teams are continuing to search for a diver who is missing off the coast of Makara in Wellington. Police were notified at 7.15pm last night that a 24-year-old New Plymouth man, who was diving alone, had not made contact with his family.

The crew of the Wellington Police Maritime Unit’s Lady Elizabeth has recovered a number of items which are believed to belong to the diver. They are a blue spear gun, a yellow diver’s float, and a yellow catch bag.

The diver, who had been expected to return at around 4pm, had been in the water just off Makara Beach, between Wharehou Bay and Pipinui Point.

A car belonging to the man was located yesterday at the beach.

The Police co-ordinated search comprises the Police Maritime Unit, the Westpac Life Flight helicopter, Volunteer Coastguard units, Surf Life Saving, and Wellington Land Search and Rescue teams. They are supported by the Police National Dive Squad. In addition, some local boaties and members of the public are assisting under the supervision of the Police.

The weather is calm, which is providing good search conditions.

Police continue to welcome reports from people who saw the diver’s movements yesterday. He was wearing a black camo wetsuit and is described as tall and athletic, with medium-length blonde hair. People with any information can call Wellington District Police on 04 381 2000.

Police continue to update the family of the diver on the progress of the search. The family is requesting privacy.

UPDATE from NZ Police
The search for a diver missing off the west coast of Wellington has been suspended for the night. It continued until just after 6pm today. The search is due to recommence at 8am tomorrow (Wednesday).

The plan is to deploy members of the Police National Dive Squad and crews in small Coastguard and Surf Living Saving vessels. They will explore inshore waters. Land-based searches have been put on hold.