Underwater sonar search at Lake Coleridge continues

Underwater sonar search at Lake Coleridge continues

Canterbury

A Police owned radial sonar will be deployed at Lake Coleridge today as the Canterbury Police SAR led search and recovery operation for the kayaker who went missing on Saturday afternoon (4 April 2015) continues.

An aerial search was completed on Saturday afternoon by Westpac Helicopter.  Members of the Police National Dive Squad based in Wellington completed a five day search last night using an underwater search pattern that extended out from the area the man was last seen in.  Members of the NZ Army and some friends and family of the missing man have also helped Canterbury Police SAR complete the land search.  Yesterday the NZ Navy used their REMUS sonar to scan the lake floor from the area the divers had searched to the 100m underwater contour line. 

Today members of the Police National Dive Squad will deploy the Police owned radial sonar to search the lake bed below the 100m contour line towards the area where the man’s kayak was recovered.  An ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) will be used, instead of divers, to verify the sonar scan if required.   In perfect surface conditions and on flat underwater topography the radial sonar can scan a 50m radius.  The lake bed at Coleridge is not flat and combined with the predicted weather conditions the area able to be searched at any one time is likely to be reduced.  This will increase the time it will take to scan the remaining area of lake floor. 

The missing man’s family, who are being supported by the NZ Army and Canterbury Police, have asked for privacy while the search continues. No further personal details of the missing kayaker will be released at this time.

Coleridge Intake Road will remain closed from Algidus Road to the intake while the recovery operation is underway.

No further details will be released today.

ENDS

Issued by:  Lisa-Marie Brooks, District Communications Manager, Canterbury Police District.  Mobile: 021 942 404