Tandem master who survived Lake Wakatipu skydiving accident had completed thousands of jumps

The tandem master who survived a fatal skydive over Lake Wakatipu yesterday was extremely experienced, having completed more than 3,000 jumps.

Yesterday, at around 1.30pm, two skydivers together in a tandem jump landed in Lake Wakatipu, near Jack's Point, at high speed.

The jump master in the skydive accident was pulled alive from Lake Wakatipu within around 20 minutes, but the client, a foreign national, remains missing.

Skydive company NZONE released a statement today saying the experienced tandem master who survived the skydive is recovering well with minor bruises after leaving hospital last night.

Inspector Olaf Jensen said police are scoping the viability of sonar devices to recover a skydiver who plunged into Lake Wakatipu at high speed. Source: 1 NEWS

The company also expressed their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of the tourist, aged in his twenties, who is still missing after the accident.

Otago Lakes Central Police Area Commander, Inspector Olaf Jensen, said today in a press conference that given the circumstances of the accident they were now looking at a body recovery operation.

"Today the police dive squad will be investigating the viability of using sonar equipment to assist with the recovery of the skydiver missing at Lake Wakatipu," Inspector Jensen said.

"Given the nature of the incident and the time that has past the ongoing police activity is focussed on a recovery operation rather than a rescue."

The other man was rescued after the accident in Central Otago today. Source: 1 NEWS

Police would not release the nationality of the skydiving victim as his next of kin were still being informed.

The cause of the the accident was also not yet known, and part of an ongoing investigation.

The jump master from NZONE Skydive was last night released from hospital, and according to Inspector Jensen was "very lucky to be found".

Inspector Jensen also said the jump master has been spoken to by police over the incident.

"A full rescue operation on the water and by air was commenced immediately after the incident to search for the missing man," Inspector Jensen said.

"Up to 12 vessels were involved in the on-water search yesterday, this search was co-ordinated by Coastguard.

"The on-water search was suspended at around 4.30pm when it was determined that if the missing man was on the lake surface then the extensive water and aerial search would have located him." 

Yesterday, following the accident the company involved, NZONE Skydive, described the instructor as highly experienced and having completed thousands of jumps.

The instructor who survived the January 10 incident has been released from hospital. Source: 1 NEWS



'Some links to the Mongrel Mob' – seven charged after BOP police sting sees guns, Hilux vehicles, $21k cash, drugs seized

Police have arrested and charged seven people after executing a number of search warrants in the eastern Bay of Plenty as part of Operation Notus II.

Speaking to media today Senior Sergeant Richard Miller said the operation had "some links to the Mongrel Mob".

Operation Notus II is the second phase of a long-running investigation, led by the National Organised Crime Group, into organised crime and the supply and supplying of methamphetamine and cannabis in the eastern Bay of Plenty region.

Acting Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Senior Sergeant Richard Miller briefed media today. Source: 1 NEWS

Search warrants were conducted this morning in properties in Kawerau, Whakatāne and Te Teko.

The seven are facing a number of charges, including possession for supply, and supplying, methamphetamine and cannabis, as well as firearms-related offending.

They will appear in Whakatāne District Court this afternoon.

Along with methamphetamine and cannabis, 26 firearms and more than $21,000 in cash has been seized.

Three stolen Toyota Hilux utes were recovered from one address in Kawerau, along with a number of power tools.

A stolen Toyota Hilux Surf and trailer were recovered from another address.

Operation Notus, launched in October 2017, revealed the Kawerau Mongrel Mob's involvement in the commercial distribution of meth and cannabis to the community.

As a result of the investigation, 48 people were arrested and almost $3 million in assets were frozen in March 2018.

Acting Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Senior Sergeant Richard Miller, said, "This was a major disruption to organised crime and methamphetamine supply in EBOP".

Guns seized during Operation Notus II in the Eastern Bay of Plenty
Guns seized during Operation Notus II in the Eastern Bay of Plenty Source: NZ Police

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Watch: 'Make it lit fam' - Andrew Little releases video appealing for 2019 New Plymouth youth MP

MP Andrew Little has released a video appealing for a 2019 New Plymouth youth MP.

In the video, Mr Little can be seen making digs at his political rivals - David Seymour, Gareth Morgan, Bill English and John Key - while attempting to appeal to the modern teenager.

"I'm Andrew Little. You may know me for such things as my cat (soz Gareth), beard polls, party hats and Dancing With The Stars. Just kidding. That's Not Safe for Twerk," the Justice Minister says.

"But if you're going to have a backing track, make sure it's pretty legal. So make it lit fam."

The MP can be seen making digs at his political rivals as he tries to appeal to the modern teenager. Source: Breakfast


Man in critical condition after stabbing at property near Opotiki

A man has been hospitalised in a critical condition following a stabbing at a property near Opotiki, in the Bay of Plenty, this morning.

The man has been transported to Whakatāne Hospital after he was stabbed at an address on Waiotahe Valley Road, in Waiotahi, at 7.25am.

The people involved in the incident are known to each other, police say.

Police know the identity of the suspect and are working to locate him.

A scene examination is currently being carried out at the address.

Source: 1 NEWS