30 Dec 2019

Cruise ship passenger falls from ship near Mahia

7:01 am on 30 December 2019

The search for a man who fell off a cruise ship last night in Hawke's Bay has resumed this morning.

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Norwegian Jewel. Photo: Supplied

The man was reported overboard from the Norwegian Jewel near the Mahia Peninsula about 7pm.

Two helicopters - from Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust and Eastland Rescue Trust - arrived on the scene an hour later.

Overnight, two container ships, an Air Force helicopter and two yachts searched for the man.

Maritime NZ Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesperson Vince Cholewa said since then the weather had deteriorated.

"There is now about a 20 knot - 37km/h - wind, and choppy seas," he said.

He said the search had resumed this morning.

"A coastguard unit from Napier arrived at 6am, a helicopter from the Eastland Rescue Trust arrived at about 6.30am."

"They will search today for as long as possible."

The Norwegian Jewel, bound for Auckland, will be met by law enforcement when it arrives.

"We've done a muster of the [cruise ship] passengers to check the numbers and reviewed CCTV footage to confirm that someone had gone overboard.

"When the cruise ship arrives in Auckland it will be met by police and Maritime officers from Maritime NZ who will make enquiries."