Thread: Bodies Recovered
01-09-2009, 03:25 PM #1
Tragic reminders...our condolences to the families.
Please wear your lifejackets
Two bodies recovered from Kawarau Rriver
The bodies of two men killed in a collision between a jet boat and a jet-ski were recovered from the Kawarau River near Queenstown yesterday, with the police focus now on determining how the accident happened.
The jet-boat driver, Laurence Brett Singleton, 51, who was known as Brett, and passenger Anton Oskar Woitasek, 34, were killed in what police described as a high-speed collision while fishing on a bend in the river east of Queenstown on Monday night.
Another passenger received minor injuries.
The two jet-ski riders, a 21-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman, both from Invercargill, are in Dunedin Hospital. They were flown there by helicopter on Monday night.
The woman was last night in a serious condition in intensive care and the man had had an operation and was "progressing favourably", hospital staff said.
The accident scene is about 1.5km downstream from the Kawarau River bridge near Frankton. The exact location was not clear yesterday, but the river bends at that point and is about 80m wide and flanked by willows.
The two bodies could not be found on Monday night, but a helicopter crew spotted them in the river yesterday morning near where the accident occurred. The Wellington-based police dive squad recovered the bodies.
The jet-ski suffered extensive damage down the right-hand side, while the jet boat's left bow section was stoved in and there was damage to the upper left section.
Senior Sergeant John Fookes, of the Queenstown police, said the jet-boat occupants were not wearing lifejackets.
The survivor from the jet boat was "going through a traumatic time" and has been helping police inquiries, he said. There did not appear to be other witnesses.
Fookes said it was still a mystery how the collision occurred, and it was too early to speculate on who was at fault.
Maritime New Zealand investigations manager Steve Splinter said four investigators from Wellington and Christchurch were at the scene.
The jet boat and the jet-ski were examined and photographed before being removed for more intense investigation.
Early indications were that the jet boat was hit head-on or side-on by the jet-ski, a Bombardier Sea-Doo GTX 4-Tec, he said.
"But we don't know why they've collided."
The river was reopened to boats yesterday afternoon.
01-09-2009, 03:29 PM #2
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