30 Mar 2015

Divers search Catlins wreckage

1:28 pm on 30 March 2015

The police have confirmed a wrecked car at Curio Bay is the one they wanted in the search for a missing Southland boy.

John Beckenridge, left, and Mike Zhao-Beckenridge

John Beckenridge, left, and Mike Zhao-Beckenridge Photo: SUPPLIED

Michael Zhao-Beckenridge, 11, has been missing for 17 days with his step-father John Beckenridge, who was in breach of a parenting order.

A break in the weather yesterday allowed the police dive squad into the water near Curio Bay to inspect the wreckage of a car.

Inspector Kelvin Lloyd said police divers, who yesterday viewed the car lying under water in a rocky cove, took note of its engine block number.

Mr Lloyd said the number confirms the vehicle is Mr Beckenridge's Volkswagen Touareg.

They believe the car was driven off the cliff 80 metres above.

He said they were now trying to work out how to remove the vehicle from the sea.

The cove near Curio Bay

The cove near Curio Bay Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

They were investigating options for getting the car out of the water, but warned it would be difficult and might not be done for some days.

They said the car was consistent with the parts found washed up on the shoreline last week.

The police said the public should still contact them with any new information.

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