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Update on water rescue at Lake Wakatipu

13 January 2018

Police earlier said a full rescue operation to search for the missing man got under way immediately, but was suspended at 4.30pm, when it was clear the missing man was not on the lake's surface.

Wednesday's accident happened near Jack's Point about 1.30pm.

An NZONE spokesman told Stuff a "highly-experienced instructor, who had completed thousands of jumps" was finishing a tandem jump with a customer and landed in the water.

The tandem master who survived the crash was plucked out of the water after a helicopter pilot who had been flying nearby witnessed the incident and called for help.

A search is under way for the other person.

"Up to 12 vessels were involved in the on-water search yesterday, this search was co-ordinated by Coastguard".

Nzone director Anthony Ritter dismissed claims that a parachute malfunction was the potential cause of the crash landing into the lake saying it was "purely speculative" and it was too early to determine the cause of the fatal accident.

They were involved in a triple-fatality in October 2017, when Kerri Pike, 50, her tandem dive instructor Peter Dawson and solo jumper Toby Turner plummeted to their deaths in Mission Beach, Queensland.

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Adventure tourism company Experience Co this afternoon put a trading halt on its shares, pending an announcement about the incident at its New Zealand-based operation NZone.

"The tandem master was released from hospital last night. He's doing very well and only has a few minor bruises". As I understand it he was flying overhead in his helicopter.

Police are working with consulate staff to liaise with the missing man's family. "He managed to land near his home, jump in a boat and race out and save our tandem master's life".

However, taking a step back from this tragedy for a second, the market moved on from its previous incident reasonably quickly and presumed there to be limited impact to its business performance.

And the ABC in Australia reported that NZONE's parent company Experience Co, which runs Skydive Mission Beach in Far North Queensland, was involved in a fatal crash past year.

The latest evaluation on NZONE Skydive was carried out by Qualmark in August 2017 and the most recent CAA audit was carried out in August 2016, which resulted in no restrictions to operations.

It was the company's first fatal tandem skydiving incident.

The company also expressed their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of the tourist, aged in his twenties, who is still missing after the accident.

Update on water rescue at Lake Wakatipu