Friday, 10 October 2003 - 10:59am |
National News

Plane wreckage found off Kapiti Coast

1 min read

Police and Navy divers have found what they hope is wreckage from the Convair freight plane which crashed in the sea off Kapiti Island during last Friday night’s violent rainstorm.

The bodies of the two aircrew, pilot Barry Cowley and co-pilot Paul Miller, have yet to be found.

Police search spokesman Senior Sergeant Mike Coleman, says some wreckage was touched last night on the last dive of the day.

&#34Visibility was just about zero so the area was marked and the divers returned to the site about 10am today,&#34 he says. &#34It could be another few hours before we know for sure but we’re hopeful that the wreckage is from our missing plane.&#34

Mr Coleman says the families of both men have been advised of the latest developments.

Sonar readings from overnight were still being analysed late this morning but it’s thought the wreckage is scattered over a two kilometre area on the seabed, about three kilometres offshore in the channel between Kapiti Island and Paraparaumu.

Several large objects have been detected, one approximately 10 metres x five metres x three metres is possibly part of the fuselage. The wreckage is sitting about 35m below the surface.

Mr Coleman says underwater visibility is still very poor although the surface conditions are good.

&#34The divers are still in the process of inspecting the objects to see if they are from our plane,&#34 he says. &#34We’re working closely with the experts including an engineer but it may be this afternoon before we know more about the significance of the find.&#34