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Search underway in Manawatū River after reports of two people missing

2 min read

A search is underway after police received a report that two people have possibly gone missing in the Manawatū River.

Two people reportedly went underwater and failed to surface, police said.

Emergency services were notified of the incident near Maxwells Line in Awapuni, Palmerston North at 3.15pm.

An air, water and ground search is under way.

St John said one helicopter was dispatched to help with the search, along with one ambulance, two managers and another vehicle with a paramedic onboard.

A person at the scene there is a large police presence near the river, and multiple police cars.

Around five people can be seen standing near the entrance of a walkway to the river at the end of Maxwells Line.

A black helicopter has just flown in and has started hovering above the river.

Eyewitnesses saw a helicopter earlier sweep along the Manawatū River near the Awapuni racecourse.

A woman who lives near Maxwells Line told the Herald she heard multiple sirens around 3.30pm, and saw police cars and ambulances heading for the river bed.

She said a rescue helicopter is “still buzzing around” and there is “a lot of traffic”.

Meanwhile, a diver has gone missing in Te Araroa on the North Island’s East Cape, prompting searches by emergency services.

The diver was scuba diving off the rocks near 566 East Coast Rd when he failed to surface.

On Tuesday, a body believed to be that of a missing swimmer was recovered from the Waimakariri River in Canterbury.

The 18-year-old had been missing since December 22 and was one of many to die in a spate of water-related incidents across the country the past week.

Six people have died since Christmas Eve while a 2-year-old Raglan boy is valiantly fighting for his life after an incident in a pool on Boxing Day.

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