Emergency Services will this morning resume the search for a 20 year old Pacific Island man who is missing presumed drowned in Lake Pupuke. The lake is a popular recreational and boating venue in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore.
Police received a call at about 9.00pm last night Tuesday 1 January 2008, reporting that a man had got into difficulties while swimming in the lake. Police personnel plus the Westpac Rescue Helicopter went to the scene and carried out an extensive search of the area until well past dark without success.
The man who was accompanied by his 15 year old brother and another male friend aged 24 years, had entered the water at a jetty located near the well known Pumphouse Theatre in Manurere Avenue Takapuna. They were at the lake with members of a Church group when the incident happened.
The trio decided to swim to an established marker buoy in the lake, about 200 metres off shore. After entering the water the 20 year old man was swimming strongly and was at about 50 metres offshore when he suddenly got into difficulties.
His brother and 24 year old companion attempted to rescue him but they were not able to hold him on the surface and he went under water and then disappeared.
There were some waves on the lake at the time of the incident. A wind of about 15 knots was experienced over much of nearby Takapuna Beach yesterday. The seas were described as choppy with a one metre swell and plenty of white caps. The conditions attracted a number of surfers to the beach.
Family and relatives of the missing man have been notified. They are being comforted by Victim Support members. Members of the Church group and others who witnessed the incident have given their account of what happened to Police. Family describe the man as being very fit, is an excellent swimmer, and is of strong build.
They are in shock that he is presumed drowned.
The man's name has not yet been released.
The Police Dive Squad from Wellington is en route to Takapuna. The Police Marine Unit will assist in today's search using an inflatable. Other special equipment such as thermal imaging is likely to be required.
The search is expected to resume mid morning.
Lake Pupuke is a popular boating venue on the North Shore. It is used by a variety of water sports organisations. The Lake is considered by locals to be one of the deepest in New Zealand due to the fact it is a crater lake.
There have been other drowning incidents. The most recent was three years ago also on New Years day when a male similarly drowned.
POLICE WILL PROVIDE FURTHER INFORMATION -LATER TODAY:
Kevin [Kev] Loughlin
District Communications Manager / Media Advisor
Waitemata Police District
12-14 Northcroft Street - Takapuna - Auckland
Phone 09 488 9758 - Extn 96308
Mobile 027 281 0271
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org