Missing Chinese crewman found in Port of Tauranga

By | February 27, 2016

A missing man who fell overboard a ship in Port of Tauranga has been found.

According to reports, the crewman, believed to be a Chinese national, fell into the harbour at around 9:20am on Saturday, and was found by navy divers about three hours later.

Divers of a navy ship who was at the port at the time of the incident searched for the man. “The search has yet to locate the man but divers are now looking for his body. The police are very grateful for the prompt response from the NZ Navy personnel who were in the port at the time and quickly joined the search,” said Senior Sergeant Karl Konlechner of the Bay of Plenty District Command Centre.

Sergeant Konlechner said that the case “appears to be a tragic accident involving a Chinese deckhand from a ship berthed in the Port.”

The man’s identity has not yet been revealed by police, but WorkSafeNZ has already been notified.

Waikato police are also having a search operation at the Waikato River after European man’s dog and clothes were found on the river bank.

“He’s a missing person as some clothes and his dog were found near the river so we think he’s gone into the river,” said Senior Sergeant Robbie Hermann.

A report said that the search focused near the logging ship Mount Hikirangi on pier 9. Pacific Basin Shipping, its operators gave this statement to Sun Live:

“We regret the unfortunate fatal fall of a Chinese seafarer around 9:13 am (local time) while the ship was berthed at Tauranga, New Zealand. The deceased fell overboard between the pier and the ship while assisting the securing of the vessel’s deck cargo of logs. Local authorities were notified at once and the Police and Navy conducted a search with divers and rescue boat in the area.”

The statement adds: “The body was retrieved and authorities declared him dead. We deeply regret this unfortunate incident and our thoughts are with his family. The company wishes to thank the local authorities for their immediate assistance and action and is cooperating with Maritime New Zealand’s investigation into the accident.”