West Coast community rocked by rafter's death

A search and rescue helicopter located the body of the man, about 20km downstream of Griffin Flat...
A search and rescue helicopter located the body of the man, about 20km downstream of Griffin Flat on the Ahaura River on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied
West Coasters are shaken by the loss of a local man who died on a rafting trip.

A search and rescue helicopter located the body of 22-year-old Cordell Joseph Nigel O'Malley about 20km downstream of Griffin Flat on the Ahaura River on Wednesday.

The Ngahere man became separated from a hunting party of four people on Sunday.

Buller councillor Dave Hawes said the young man who'd recently left Reefton will be missed.

He said Coasters will struggle with this, and will be thinking of the family.

"It's an emotional time for a wide range of people who grew up with him and worked with him."

He said locals will be wanting to support the family - and give them space to grieve.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.

"Police would like to thank all those involved in the search, including search and rescue volunteers, local jet boat pilots and Ahaura Helicopters," a police spokesperson said.

The man's death will be reported to the Coroner.

 

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