The search for a man swept away at the Motu rivermouth near
Whakatane today has been called off for the night and will
Police said the 25-year-old local had been fishing with
friends, and it appears he disappeared while attempting to
cross the rivermouth. His companions are all safe.
The search began soon after police were notified about
3.50pm. Central Helicopters helped to look for the man and
the Coastguard searched until about 7pm.
The man is not being publicly identified at this stage.
Police have issued a reminder about the dangers posed by the
A combination of rain and tropical weather means river levels
and the sea surf are dangerously high. Anyone enjoying
activities on our waterways is urged to take every precaution
and make sure they are wearing life jackets, a police
Three drownings made the Christmas holiday period - which
began at 4pm on Christmas Eve and finished at 6am on Thursday
- the lowest toll in six years.
Hamilton man Jason Anthony Johns, 43, drowned at Whiritoa
Beach in the Coromandel on Christmas Eve while swimming about
600 metres outside the flags.
Robert Farquhar, 29, died while he was diving at Matakatia
Bay in Whangaparaoa on December 29.
Oscar-winning sound editor Michael Alexander Hopkins drowned
while rafting Wairarapa's flooded Waiohine River on December
30. His wife and another man in the raft survived.
There was an average of 10 drownings during the past five
A 27-year-old man drowned at Himatangi Beach on Saturday.
Jarrett Simeon, of Feilding, is believed to have been
swimming outside the flagged area when he drifted away from a
group of friends.
Police found his body about 100 meters from the Himatangi
Surf Life Saving Club yesterday (Sun).