14 Aug 2012

Boy who drowned in submerged vehicle named

11:15 am on 14 August 2012

The boy who drowned when the vehicle he was in rolled into a pond on Sunday night has been named as Tayne Luka Bowes.

The nine-year-old and his eight-year-old sister were trapped in their father's four-wheel-drive when it rolled into the slurry pond of a Ruatapu goldmine on the West Coast.

The girl survived in an air pocket for two hours before being rescued by police officers.

Their father, a mine employee who was driving the vehicle, managed to free himself and ran several kilometres to raise the alarm.

He told police he had taken his children to the private goldmine south of Hokitika to ensure that the pumps that remove water from the mine pit had enough fuel to operate through the night.

The police say they are at a loss to explain how the vehicle ended up in the pond, given the driver was very familiar with the site.

The girl was released from hospital on Monday morning after being taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia. Her father was treated for injuries.