Hopes fade for missing soldier

Lake Moawhango. Photo / supplied / NZDF
Lake Moawhango. Photo / supplied / NZDF

Hopes are fading that a soldier missing in a lake near Waiouru will be found alive, Inspector Steve Mastrovich says.

"Sadly, despite intensive searches conducted throughout the course of the day, we have not located this soldier,'' Mr Mastrovich said this evening.

"Our search will resume again at first light, where Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Defence Force and police personnel will be deployed.''

Emergency services were called to Lake Moawhango about 5.40pm yesterday after the soldier, aged in his late 20s, fell overboard from an inflatable boat while returning from a training exercise.

The navy's dive team is expected to arrive in Waiouru later today and to join the search tomorrow.

Given the depth of the lake, officers from the police dive squad have only been able to search shallow areas around the shoreline.

Commander headquarters training and doctrine, Colonel Evan Williams, said the Army was doing everything it could to support the police.

The New Zealand Defence Force had informed next of kin and will provide appropriate support.

- nzherald.co.nz and APNZ

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