The police national dive squad began searching the Haast
River yesterday for the body of Canadian tourist Connor
Hayes. The official search for Mr Hayes (25) was scaled back
earlier this week.
However, the dive squad's involvement in the operation ''only
became an option once the river cleared'', Senior Constable
Robin Manera, of Haast, said yesterday.
Five divers and two local jet-boat drivers had found nothing
yesterday, but had intended to return to the river to
complete the rest of their search pattern today.
''We just wanted to search some of those holes [in the
river]. It's really the last shot that we can give the river
and hopefully we've got a flood coming this weekend.''
Police hope bad weather will either cause the Haast River
level to rise and dislodge Mr Hayes' body, or wild seas to
return his body to land.
Whitebaiters and tourism operators have also been asked to
keep an eye out for him.
Mr Hayes and his girlfriend, Joanna Lam (24), are believed to
have been swept off the Haast Pass road by a landslip on
September 10. A body believed to be Ms Lam's was recovered on
Friday, but there has been no sign of Mr Hayes.
Snr Const Manera said Mr Hayes' close relatives were expected
to arrive in New Zealand within the next week.