Updates: Wellington Harbour search for man believed overboard on ferry

5:04 pm on 24 May 2024

Vessels have been combing the Wellington Harbour since early this morning searching for a man who is believed to have fallen overboard from a ferry in the Wellington Harbour.

The missing person is a Pākehā man in his 40s, police say. They are urgently seeking information to help identifying him.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry said he was shocked by the news that someone had fallen from the ferry describing the incident as "a real tragedy".

The Coastguard said that about 10 to 12 vessels were searching for the missing man on Friday afternoon.

Drizzly conditions had affected search efforts and when the conditions improved searchers were able to search a bigger area, but if they deteriorated they could only search a small area, the Coastguard said.

Deputy harbourmaster Patrick Atwood said he was told the sole passenger on the first East by West ferry crossing from Queens Wharf to Days Bay on Friday morning was no longer on board when the vessel reached the dock.

Atwood told Morning Report the odds were not in favour of the missing man, given he would have fallen in during a cold morning and in the dark.

See how the search unfolded: