NZONE Skydive: Incident at Lake Wakatipu

Alicia Farmer
January 13, 2018

His tandem master was rescued from the lake and is reportedly recovering well, however, ongoing recovery operations have thus far failed to locate the missing man.

Emergency services were called to the accident at Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown on 's South Island at 1.42pm on Wednesday.

He said the tandem instructor, who has completed more than 3000 tandem skydives, has been released from hospital with minor bruises.

Rive said he and his wife quickly sped to the location where a skydiving plane was circling near Jack's Point and found the tandem master in the water.

A search is under way for the other person.

"Police would like to acknowledge the individuals involved in the rescue of the jump master".

He said a full rescue operation on the water and by air was commenced immediately after the incident to search for the missing man. Given the nature of the incident, he's in remarkably good spirits.

Ritter praised those responsible for helping to save the instructor's life. As I understand it he was flying overhead in his helicopter.

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Stevenson said it was an evidence-gathering investigation at this stage and he had not yet interviewed the tandem master, who has not yet been named. "He managed to land near his home, jump in a boat and race out and save our tandem master's life".

He was Tyler Nii, 27 years old, from California.

However, 12 months ago another incident near Queenstown ended in a crash-landing with an instructor and trainee instructor both suffering serious injuries.

Ritter said skydiving was a risky activity but NZONE did everything it could to mitigate those risks.

That company was involved in what is thought to be a mid-air crash in October previous year, killing instructors Peter Dawson and Toby Turner along with mother-of-eight Kerri Pike.

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.

"Today the police dive squad will be investigating the viability of using sonar equipment to assist with the recovery of the skydiver missing at Lake Wakatipu", Inspector Jensen said.

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.

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