Schlechte Nachrichten

The German kayaker who has been missing on Lake Hawea since Monday was named yesterday as Rene Weissange (25), of Markranstadt, Germany.

He recently began working at the Lake Hawea Hotel as a chef.

A scaled-down search for Mr Weissange resumed about 8am yesterday – the third day – with eight Wanaka LandSAR volunteers searching the lake from boats and conducting another search on foot on the shore.

Wanaka Constable Emma Fleming said the situation would be reviewed today.

„We have scaled down. Tomorrow [Saturday] is a review day and we will look again on Sunday. Everyone wants to find him so we will keep working on it,“ she said.

Mr Weissange’s family was contacted in Germany on Thursday night and they have been communicating with Wanaka police, Const Fleming said.

It was not known whether the family intended to come to Wanaka.

Lake Hawea Hotel co-owner Mike Smith said yesterday the situation was still new for Mr Weissange’s family and he did not feel it was the right time to comment.

Mr Weissange went kayaking on Monday and was last heard from when he used a mobile phone about 12.25pm to contact a friend.

He had indicated he was going to paddle from the Lake Hawea township to Timaru Creek, on the eastern shore of the lake.

Police were informed Mr Weissange was missing on Wednesday morning, after he failed to turn up to work on Tuesday night.

A team of 11 searchers, using a helicopter and boats, found his kayak washed up on the beach below the village about 1pm on Wednesday afternoon. His paddle was found about 600m further east along the beach.

It is believed Mr Weissange was not wearing a life jacket.

Const Fleming said police were still collecting information about Mr Weissange.

It was not clear what sort of kayaking or cold-water experience he had.

„We haven’t established that from what his friends have told us. We are still talking to other people,“ Const Fleming said.

Otago Daily Times

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