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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Police can confirm the body located in the Clutha River on 17 November has officially been identified as Alexandra man Wayne Hammond.

Police continue to make enquiries in relation to his death on behalf of the coroner who will release their findings in due course.

“While Police managed the search for Wayne, the support and expertise we received from our partner organisations, including Coastguard and Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR), was both overwhelming and significant,” says Sergeant Derek Ealson.

“We know many of those involved in these organisations are volunteers who took time off from their paid employment to look for Wayne and we want to take the opportunity to say thank you – both on behalf of Police, Wayne’s family and the community.”

Volunteers from Coastguard Clyde & Wanaka Lakes undertook more than 200 hours of searching and incident management over the three-week period, supporting Police and LandSAR.

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Wayne at this difficult time,” says Coastguard Clyde President James Robinson.

“Although it’s not the outcome we had hoped for, I’d like to extend my thanks to the many volunteers across the region who gave up their own time to help bring Wayne back to his family.”

LandSAR contributed a significant resource with field teams and incident management support from Central Otago and Queenstown, field teams and a swiftwater team from Wanaka, and field teams and three area search dogs from Dunedin.

“This amounted to 994 hours contributed by 83 dedicated people,” says Eric Schusser, Central Otago LandSAR Incident Management Team Coordinator.

“As with all small rural communities, a number of our searchers knew, or had connections to Wayne’s family and we want to acknowledge this had an additional impact on them.”

As a sign of respect, Ngāi Tahu has placed a rāhui on the Clutha River/Mata-Au for a period of seven days from Monday 22 November to Monday 29 November.

The rāhui is in place from Clyde Bridge through to the Roxburgh Dam.

This encompasses no taking of kai from the river area, fishing, or swimming.


Issued by Police Media Centre