Praise for rescue teams as Georgetown man found

January 09, 2020 - 79 views

A 27-year-old Georgetown man was found on the banks of the Waitaki River yesterday morning, 19 hours after he was reported missing, due to the ‘‘brilliant’’ efforts of those involved in the search for him.

After the man went missing when he entered the river about 1pm, North Otago LandSAR, backed up by LandSAR teams from Omarama and Dunedin, were joined by a helicopter, a jet-boat, dog teams from Dunedin and Timaru, and ‘‘lots of farm workers, friends, and family’’, Senior Constable Peter Scott, of Kurow, said.

‘‘The effort from LandSAR was just fantastic.

‘‘That search and rescue team just gets together and gets working efficiently ... very, very grateful for their help.’’

Up to 20 people in teams searched the area in a grid pattern on land at the scene near Georgetown when the man went missing.

Meridian lowered the river flow to aid with the search, and for the safety of the searchers, who worked to 12.30am yesterday when the search was called off for the night.

It resumed at 6am. The man was found about 8am, about 25km down river, near Ferry Rd.

Snr Const Scott said the man entered the river for reasons that were unclear, but was in a ‘‘pretty good condition’’, given he had told rescuers he was in the water until dark.

He was taken to Oamaru Hospital and was ‘‘pleased’’ to see his family.


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