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Fourth day of search for missing kayaker, after clothing found on seabed

News from NZ Police
The search for missing kayaker Koyren Campbell continues for a fourth day today. The Police National Dive Squad will search at Tarakena Bay, where clothing items belonging to Koyren were found on the seabed yesterday.

This will be supported by a Royal New Zealand Navy underwater search team and equipment, and the Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV and crew.

With weather permitting, an aerial search along the Wairarapa coastline by a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH-90 will go ahead this afternoon, with support from ground teams along parts of the shoreline.

Last night LandSAR teams completed another thorough search of the coastline of the Miramar Peninsula, however nothing further of note was located.

News from NZ Police – January 19
The Police National Dive Squad, two LandSAR teams, a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 crew, and police launch the Lady Elizabeth IV are all assisting today in the third day of the search for missing kayaker Koyren Campbell.

The search area has continued to focus on the areas mapped by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCCNZ), from Sinclair Head to Palliser Bay.

Police searching the area where the missing man’s kayak was located have found clothing items on the seabed that have been identified as belonging to him. The Police National Dive Squad made the discovery earlier today.

This discovery raises a number of possibilities, all of which will be assessed, however it also increases Police’s concerns for Koyren. Searching in the area where those items were found is ongoing, along with searching in the wider area indicated by the RCCNZ’s earlier mapping. This will be reassessed as weather conditions change throughout the afternoon.

We continue to appeal to members of the public in the South Coast area including Eastbourne through to Wairarapa, or along the Miramar/Seatoun coast, to be vigilant and on the lookout for Koyren.

We’re particularly interested in speaking to anyone who has come across a life jacket in the greater Wellington area since Koyren went missing. Police believe the kayak’s paddle also remains outstanding.

We also want to talk to anyone who might have taken photos of the Tarakena Bay area on Sunday and who might have captured any images containing the red kayak. Anyone with information is asked to contact Police via 105 and quote event number P045173862.

Report from RNZ
Police search and rescue incident controller Sergeant Tony Matheson said night searching carried on to about 11pm yesterday, but no further clues were found.

“Our information base is pretty much the same as what it was on day one,” he said. “Our focus is pretty much been … targeting the areas where he may have been taken by the sea.”

The dive squad will continue searching the area where the kayak was found.

“We’ve got some ground search teams … targeting areas where he may have been washed in to a shoreline. We’ve got some significant air search activity this afternoon.”

Matheson said the 22-year-old had had the kayak for about two months.

“The stuff that that we have found on his kayak seems pretty consistent with what you’d expect people to have when they go out fishing,” he said.

Searchers did not find a locator beacon or VHF marine radio on the kayak “but otherwise his canoe seemed to be in pretty good order”.

The team was getting a lot of offers from the public to help, he said, including searching with helicopters and the use of thermal imaging devices and drones.

For safety reasons, the SAR team would not be taking on members of the public or giving them search tasks. “But we certainly appreciate all of those offers and the family were also very grateful for all those sorts of people who were out there trying to find Mr Campbell.” Instead, police are asking the public to keep a lookout.

“If you’re out there fishing, if you’re out there on your own canoe, if you are out there looking, just be vigilant, he is there somewhere. Let’s hope he’s there to be found. It isn’t always the search and rescue people who find people, a lot of the time it is the public, and we very much know that, and we do want their help.”

News from NZ Police – January 18
The search continued today for a Wellington kayaker who is overdue from a fishing trip yesterday. He is 22-year-old Koyren Campbell. His kayak was found floating near Tarakena Bay yesterday afternoon. He was due back on land at around noon.

Police today searched the outer limits of Wellington Harbour and Palliser Bay.

Today’s search involved about 50 people including LANDSar members, a Royal New Zealand Defence Force NH90 crew, the Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew, Wellington Coastguard, Police public safety staff, the Police Maritime Unit and Police National Dive Squad.

The areas searched were mapped by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCCNZ), using technology to analyse weather conditions, currents and tidal conditions.

We covered a significant area by land, sea and air today and the conditions, especially for the air crews, were not ideal.

The search has concluded for today and the incident control team is planning how to manage tomorrow’s search.

We are appealing to members of the public in the south coast area including Eastbourne through to Wairarapa or along the Miramar/Seatoun coast to be vigilant and on the look out for Koyren or any equipment or clothing that might belong to him.

We also want to talk to anyone who might have taken photos of the Tarakena Bay area yesterday. Please have a close look at those and get in touch if you captured his red kayak.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police via 105 and quote event number P045173862.

Earlier News from NZ Police
A search resumed at first light this morning for a man thought to be missing from a kayak which was recovered off Wellington’s south coast yesterday. The sea search is being undertaken by the Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV and the Wellington Coastguard. Aerial searches are being conducted by a Royal New Zealand Airforce NH90 helicopter and the Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Shore search parties began walking around the Miramar coastline at 7am.

Further shoreline search parties will repeat the searches conducted yesterday along the Eastbourne, Wainuiomata and Waiarapa coastlines.

Police inquiries yesterday identified an individual who was thought to have gone kayaking yesterday morning but who didn’t return when expected.

Anyone who locates any items of interest in the search areas is asked to contact Police immediately on 111 and quote event number P045173862.

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