Search suspended at Lake Waikare
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ), who is coordinating a search on and around Lake Waikare following sightings of a possible aircraft crash, have suspended the search for tonight.
RCCNZ was first alerted when Police received reports shortly before 4pm from two people playing golf in Te Kauwhata, northern Waikato. The eyewitnesses said they heard an explosion and saw a ball of flames going down over the lake.
RCCNZ tasked two helicopters to search the area as well as a coastguard vessel and local rescue boat. Fire services liaised with local farmers whose properties adjoined the lake, and police spoke with people at local camping grounds to learn if there were other sightings, of which there were none.
“The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and later a police helicopter fitted with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) night vision equipment covered extensive areas together with Coastguard and local rescue boat,” said Mr Blakemore.
“Because no aircraft has been reported overdue and we’ve searched for around 5 hours to date, we have decided to suspend the search for tonight pending further information, he said. Rescue Coordination Mission Controller, Neville Blakemore, said no aircraft had been reported overdue and the area had been comprehensively searched to no avail. However, the search would remain open until tomorrow morning pending information which may come to hand during the night.