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Diving fatality

A body found at Makorori is believed to be that of a man who went missing while snorkelling.

Police started searching for a 33-year-old Gisborne man at 1.45pm yesterday.

They were alerted to the fact a man had got into difficulty in the water while snorkelling with two friends.

The Eastland Community Trust Rescue Helicopter was called to assist just after 2pm. They joined the police, and volunteers from the Coastguard and Land Search and Rescue, to search the area.

“We were out there about an hour,” said rescue helicopter trust manager Doug Buchanan. “We searched that bay (Tatapouri) and then probably went out another couple of kilometres, in big loops. There were a few boats out there searching as well.”

A police spokeswoman today confirmed the body of a man had been found on the shore at Makorori.

“While formal identification is yet to take place, he is believed to be the 33-year-old man reported to have got into difficulty in the water about 1.45pm yesterday.

“The man’s body was discovered about midnight last night.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

The death would be referred to the Coroner.

A rahui is in place between the Tatapouri boat ramp and makoriri beach. It would remain in place until the end of the Tangi.

Rahui is a Maori custom that prohibits the gathering of seafood and any other resources from an area following a death, as a gesture of respect.

SNORKELLING TRAGEDY: A man’s body was found at Makorori about midnight last night. Police were alerted yesterday afternoon that a man out diving at Tatapouri with two friends had gone missing. Picture by Paul Rickard