Missing swimmer: 'The one time in my dad's life when he tried to do something heroic'

Police searching for a man who went missing after jumping off an Auckland wharf last night have found a body.

Rodney Anderson is feared dead after he tried to save a man in the water at Beach Haven Wharf.


His daughter Kristina Anderson confirmed police had told her a body believed to be her father had been pulled from the water this morning.

"I'm in a complete state of shock," she said.

A family member was now travelling to her home to support her.

Ms Anderson was still coming to terms with losing her father so tragically - and so close - to his birthday. She had just enjoyed a family birthday lunch with him and his partner on Saturday.

"Dad will always be the cool guy.

"He always tried to make everyone happy.

"It's supposed to be his birthday in eight days time. "

He was currently employed as a project manager for a shop fit-out company.

She she understood her father had plunged into the water fully clothed and disappeared after helping a friend who got into difficulty

Speaking to Newstalk ZB before police found the body, she said: "The one time in my dad's life when he tried to do something heroic he's really hurt himself."


She described her father as a strong swimmer but said he had been drinking and appeared to have acted on instinct.

Beach Haven resident Del Ammann this morning reported seeing police retrieve a body from the Waitemata Harbour this morning.

Mr Ammann, whose house overlooks the wharf, said police appeared to have been alerted by a person in a small inflatable boat.

"There was a guy in a rubber duckie waiting for the cops. He must've spotted the body.
"[Police launch] Deodar was out here and they dropped their own rubber duckie, and they picked up the body. It was about 500m north of the wharf, in front of the Greenhithe Escarpment."

He and his partner Lesley Critchley were eating on their deck at 9pm yesterday and heard people in the water below.

"I heard voices and laughter. I heard a guy say 'I can't swim' and then it went quiet."

Mr Ammann said it was a beautiful night but the harbour was deceptive.

"People don't realise there's a five-knot tide. It's a strong rip that goes through here."

Police said a group of people were at the beach when a person got into difficulties and a man jumped in to help.

The swimmer originally in trouble made it out of the water.

People on the wharf had thrown in lifebuoys in an effort to help.

The Westpac helicopter used its spotlight to search the harbour. Photo / Daniel Hines
The Westpac helicopter used its spotlight to search the harbour. Photo / Daniel Hines

Police, on foot and aboard the Deodar, and the Westpac helicopter searched the harbour overnight.

Police cordoned off the Beach Haven wharf this morning and passengers were turned away from the 7.50am ferry sailing.

Police are now contacting next of kin.

- NZ Herald

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