A search and rescue operation is underway for a man who’s been swept out to sea near Lake Ferry in Wairarapa this afternoon.
The man was believed to have been near the mouth of Lake Onoke when he was swept out to sea around 2.30pm.
A police spokeswoman said at about 3.15pm the man was still missing and searchers were looking for him, by air and in the water.
An employee at the nearby Lake Ferry Hotel said that she had just returned from the search area.
“I’ve been down there. The rescue services are there but there’s no visual on the guy from what I could see at the moment.
“It’s not common but it is a very dangerous area – I don’t know why they would be in the water.
“There’s a lot of people down there watching and I’ve lost sight of the chopper at the moment.
“I did see one of the boats speed off really quickly but that’s all that I know at this stage.”
An employee from the Lake Ferry Holiday park said locals had joined in the search.
“There are at least three helicopters, a couple of police cars and an ambulance.
“Some locals have also taken their boats out.”
She said such incidents were rare.
“It doesn’t happen that often at all – the majority of people that come out are usually pretty wary of the water and understand how dangerous it is.”
More details to come.