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Search of Hutt River continues

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017

The search for a man missing after a late night swim in the rain-swollen Hutt River is focussing on the river mouth, banks and Wellington Harbour.

A drone has been used in the search, which is ongoing.

The 19-year-old's friend alerted police on late on Thursday night after they went for swim in the river near Belmont School.

The men went swimming when the river was very swollen following a large amount of rain in the Wellington region, Sergeant Anthony Harmer says.

The river is deep, wide and the currents can be unpredictable in the spot they chose. It's not a popular swimming spot.

Wellington Land Search & Rescue, the Hutt Community Emergency Response Team, Upper Hutt Community Rescue, Wellington Coast Guard, Wellington Harbour Rangers, and New Zealand Fire Service are all involved in the search.

A drone was used in areas searchers couldn't reach.

The police dive squad hasn't been deployed because the river is too dangerous.

The two men spoke to a man and woman in the Belmont Domain area at some stage on Thursday and police would like the couple to get in touch with them.

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