Surf Life Saving New Zealand acknowledges deaths at Wairarapa

Sunday, 12 January 2020

On January 10 and 11, 2020, volunteer Surf Lifeguards from Riversdale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club in the Wairarapa were among those called on to help search for a father and son.

The pair were reported missing after failing to return from a snorkelling trip on January 10 near Mataikona, off the Wairarapa coast.

The incident occurred at a non-lifeguarded area.

Police were alerted to the incident at 11.34am on January 10. Two deceased people were found on the evening of January 11.

While formal identification is yet to take place, police believe the two deceased are the father and son reported missing.

The initial search included two helicopters (Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Amalgamated Helicopters), the Lady Elizabeth IV launch, three commercial fishing boats, the Riversdale Beach Surf Life Saving Club, and a large number of private fishing vessels that had been part of a fishing competition.

Our thoughts are with the father and son’s family and friends at this time.

Surf Life Saving NZ acknowledges the Surf Lifeguards, the emergency services, volunteers and the members of the public who were called to the scene and assisted.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Coastal Safety team will work with emergency services to establish the circumstances.


For more information, please contact:

Melanie Louden
Surf Life Saving NZ Media and Communications Manager
021 757 433