$62,000 spent on yacht search

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014

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The search for three people who went missing on a yacht off the coast of Southland cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The Munetra, with 33-year-old German skipper Andre Kinzler and German tourists Lea Tietz and Veronika Steudler, both 19, set sail from Bluff for Preservation Inlet in Fiordland on April 16 and was due back in port on April 22.

Debris from the Munetra was discovered two weeks later but there has still been no trace of those on board.

Southland area commander Inspector Lane Todd said the estimated cost of the police search and rescue operation was $62,000. This included the hire of aircraft and staff hours used during the search.

All search and rescue operations were funded from police area operational budgets, Todd said.

The unpredictable and varied nature of search and rescue operations made it impossible to set a budget for search and rescue.

However, there was a contingency built into the area operational budget to manage the operations.

In 2012/13 there were 109 land and 50 marine search and rescue activities in the Southern Police District. Government expenditure on search and rescue for 2012/13 was $17.998m nationally.

New Zealand Police received $6,816,000 of this figure.

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