2 Mar 2011

Coroner suggests register of search expertise

10:11 am on 2 March 2011

Wellington's coroner Ian Smith is recommending police establish a list of private operators with the skills to assist in search and rescue operations.

The recommendation is contained in his findings into the death of Stephen Adams, who died when his car left the Rimutaka Hill Road in January 2009.

Mr Adams' body was found 50 days after he was reported missing by helicopter pilot Maurice Wooster, who was carrying out an aerial spraying operation in the area.

Mr Wooster told the inquest he had offered to use his aircraft to retrieve the body, but was amazed to hear the police had deployed 30 searchers in poor conditions overnight, instead of using his services.