INDEPENDENT NEWS

Search Suspended for Missing Diver

Published: Wed 12 Nov 2008 11:04 AM
12 November 2008 – 10.20am
Search Suspended for Missing Diver
The search for a diver missing off the Timaru coast since Monday afternoon (November 10) has been suspended, after intensive search efforts over the last two days have failed to find him.
Two rescue helicopters, several vessels and a fixed wing aircraft have been involved in the search for Kevin Bailey, 63, of Blenheim, after he was reported missing about 2.30pm on Monday by his two diving companions while diving on the wreck of the Holmglen. The wreck is located about 20 nautical miles (36km) off
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has been coordinating the search for Mr Bailey.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Officer Keith Allen said the difficult decision to suspend the search had been made after an extremely thorough search of a 350 square mile area around the wreck where Mr Bailey had last been seen.
“Despite an intense search over the last two days, involving two rescue helicopters, a fixed wing aircraft and a number of Coastguard and local fishing vessels, no further sign of Mr Bailey has been found,” Mr Allen said.
“Taking into account the wide area covered by the search, the temperature of the water, and the time that has now elapsed, it is considered the search has continued past the point where anyone could reasonably be expected to be found alive,” he said.
“RCCNZ has therefore recommended to the Acting Director of Maritime New Zealand that in the absence of any new information, the search be suspended. While we are confident that all relevant information has been acted on, we will consider resuming the search should any new information come to light.”
Mr Allen thanked all who had been involved in the search for Mr Bailey.  “While this is obviously not the outcome that anyone wants, the search could not have happened without the efforts and cooperation of many agencies and individuals, including the New Zealand Coastguard, Otago Helicopters, the Westpac Trust Rescue Helicopter from Christchurch and a number of local vessel operators who all pitched in and helped out.”
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