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Search continues for German kayaker missing in New Zealand lake


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Search continues for German kayaker missing in New Zealand lake

2011-09-02 07:21:51 GMT+7 (ICT)

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND (BNO NEWS) -- Land and marine squads are continuing to look for a German kayaker who went missing in New Zealand's Lake Hawea, officials said on Friday.

25-year old Rene Weissange borrowed a kayak from a friend and said he was going to paddle from Lake Hawea township to Timaru creek on the eastern shore of the lake which is located in the Otago region in the south of New Zealand's south island.

Weissange last made mobile contact with a friend while he was on the kayak at around 12:25 p.m. local time on Monday. As he did not return, he was reported missing by a friend to the Wanaka Police on Wednesday morning.

Wanaka police, along with a Land Search and Rescue (SAR) team and the Coast Guard, started looking for the kayaker after the report was filed. At noon, Weissange's borrowed kayak and paddle were found in separate locations on the southern shoreline near the Lake's township.

The rescue teams resumed their search operations on Thursday. 30 marine and land SAR and Coast Guard members conducted an extensive lake and shore line search but did not find any sign of the missing German. Searches again resumed on Friday.

Senior Constable Mike Johnston said the odds of finding the kayaker alive were not good. "As time progresses the likelihood of a good outcome is diminishing rapidly with the realization that searchers are looking for a body," he said.

Johnston further said that Weissange's family in Germany has been contacted and informed of the situation. Weissange was from Markranstadt in Germany and had recently moved to Lake Hawea to work as a chef in a local hotel.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-09-02

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I'd suggest he was not wearing a lifejacket, another sad addition to kayak/canoe drownings.

The report below says Wakitipu was 10 degrees C in December; Hawea likely the same or less mid-winter.

A search was called off for a kayaker in Wellington on August 16 2011, he was last seen August 10: report: Search for Wellington kayaker called off

He was not wearing a lifejacket. The body has not been recovered.

and a coroner's report today on 2 deaths in December 2010

French canoeists unprepared, coroner says

02/09/2011

Two young French tourists who died in Lake Wakatipu were lightly clad, wore inappropriate lifejackets and used a canoe unsuitable for a lake crossing, a coroner says.

The court was told the pair set off in a 3.5 metre old-style canoe without seats, sharing a paddle, with few provisions, light clothing and a single cellphone. After paddling across the lake towards Hidden Island, they hiked up Cecil Peak.On their return, a southerly blew in and they foundered attempting to head back across the 10 degree Celsius lake.

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