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Waikato Police working to identify body recovered off Whiritoa coast
Friday 8 February 2013, 1:21PM
By New Zealand Police
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COROMANDEL

A formal identification process has commenced following the discovery of a body in ocean off the Coromandel coast overnight.

Waikato Police Search and Rescue coordinator, Constable Dave Pitchford, said a member of the public rang 111 to report what looked like a body 200m off the shore in front off the Surf Life Saving Club at Whiritoa 5.25pm.

"With the assistance of the Whiritoa Surf Club and Whangamata Coastguard the body was recovered and taken to Waikato Hospital where forensic examinations will begin to help us identify who this person is.

"At this point we are keeping an open mind in relation to the identity of the person who's body was found and are keeping an open mind in relation to if this person maybe a 52-year-old Katikati man missing since his boat capsized off Bowentown on 28 January."

Mr Pitchford said while these lengthy examinations were going on it was important to acknowledge the assistance provided once again by volunteer organisations.

"During the search we had lifeguards, volunteer fire-fighters and search and rescue staff as well as Coastguard and mine rescue personnel all working to assist Police in the search.

"Then last night, thanks to a call from the public a number of volunteers mobilised again to assist Police in the body recovery. These often unsung heroes are repeatedly giving of their time to the benefit of their wider communities and from a Police perspective their efforts are very appreciated."






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