7 Jan 2014

Hutt River search for body suspended

3:40 pm on 7 January 2014

A search for the body of a man swept away from his boat on the Hutt River has been suspended.

The man in his 40s was retrieving fishing nets with a companion on Sunday about 4pm when they were overcome by the conditions and their boat capsized.

The companion managed to return to the boat, but the man was carried into Wellington Harbour.

A sweep of the harbour by a Westpac helicopter on Tuesday morning failed to locate his body and the police's maritime unit is reviewing when it will next conduct a shoreline search from Pencarrow to Eastbourne.

A spokesperson from the unit said a combination of high wind and river flow, as well as a king tide, contributed to the man being swept away.

She said there was a lull in the weather when the pair went out. However, the Hutt River was turbulent and flowing at 600 cubic metres per second, when it normally flows at about 15.