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