The body of a soldier missing for more than a week in a lake near Waiouru has been found by navy and police divers.
Linton solider Michael Ross' body was found on the bed of Lake Moawhanga at about 3pm today.
Search teams working in freezing cold and windy conditions used sonar equipment to find the body in the area where he went missing almost eight days ago during an army exercise, said Ruapehu area commander Inspector Steve Mastrovich.
Ross, 28, of Kaitaia, fell off an inflatable boat during the training exercise on the lake.
"It is a relief for the team to have a positive outcome," Mastrovich said.
"It was a very hard and complex task for the divers as they tried to identify possible targets.''
"This has been a very long and difficult week - for the family and friends of Private Ross and also for the many people who have assisted in the search," Mastrovich said.
"Although we would have wished for a happier outcome, we are just pleased that in recovering the body we are able to give some comfort to those who are grieving."
Royal New Zealand Navy and police dive teams were supported by the Auckland Police Maritime Unit and New Zealand Defence Force using inflatable craft today.
Training Commander Colonel Evan Williams said he was proud of the way the search had been undertaken.
"The lake is a difficult environment to search because of its depth, and sediment and growth in the bottom layer."
Police would continue investigating on behalf of the coroner into how the soldier was lost overboard.
Ross' family had been notified and had asked for privacy. Thes body was now at Waiouru Army Camp before being taken to Palmerston North for an autopsy.
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