Wharf jump teen spent day in water

A teenager who apparently hid under central Auckland wharves for 13 hours yesterday - while divers combed the waters looking for him - was found safe but shivering last night.

Police said the 18-year-old was seen removing his shoes and shirt before jumping into the water on the eastern side of Princes Wharf at 5am yesterday.

Police had received reports of the young man climbing around the piles beneath the Hilton Hotel during the early hours of the morning.

A CityGuard security officer, who did not want to be named, finally located him hiding under a jetty, dressed in his underpants, in the Viaduct Basin about 6.30pm.

"I was here at 5am when I heard he had jumped into the wharf and kept a look out. I had just started patrol tonight and there he was," he said.

Police maritime unit senior constable Steve Phillips said the male appeared to be on medication or suffering from a mental health condition.

"He had been hanging around the Viaduct this whole time," Phillips said. "He must be on something because he was not all there. It's quite unusual."

It is understood police dive squads, including a team brought in from Wellington, searched the wharf on three separate occasions.

Detective Ruth Niu said police held real concerns for the young man and and were relieved the matter didn't become a body recovery.

"It is frustrating. A lot of resources were spent looking for him all day when he was just sunbathing and swimming in his underwear."

The male was assessed by ambulance at the scene and later taken to Auckland City Hospital

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