Waterfall victim named

04:11, Aug 19 2013
Bowen Falls
BOWEN FALLS: A Chilean teenager died while visiting the Milford Sound waterfall

Police released the name of the Chilean teenager today who fell 161 metres to his death on Saturday.

He was Martín Ambrosio Celery-Halabi.

Sergeant Pete Graham, of Te Anau, said the teenager's parents had arrived in Invercargill today.

Police will examine the scene at Milford Sound today after he fell to his death from the top of the Bowen Falls on Saturday.

Acting Senior Sergeant Dave Kennelly, of Invercargill, said the 19-year-old man slipped while taking photographs and fell 161 metres to the base of the falls.

The man was at the falls with two friends, he said.


The pair searched for their friend but were unable to find him, and ran back to the Milford village to raise the alarm, he said.

Rural Fire and the Milford Emergency Response Team searched the area in the dark and found the man's body floating in the water at 6.30pm.

A Department of Conservation spokeswoman said the Bowen Falls track had not been used in years and the final parts of the walkway were taken away last month.

However, the trio could have used an unofficial track known by locals that followed a hydro pipe up to the falls, she said.

"We have no maintained tracks in that area [leading up to the falls] and we never have."

Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes, of Invercargill, said police were not sure whether the group had followed a track but police would complete the scene examination today and take photos of the area.

He expected an ambassador or the family to fly to Southland in the coming days.

The man's body was taken to Te Anau on Saturday night, and then to Invercargill yesterday.

The man was working in Milford Sound as a boat host for Southern Discoveries.

Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson said the man had recently moved to Milford and started working for the firm.

"The Milford community is close knit and its members are understandably upset. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to family and friends of the deceased. Support to all Milford staff is being provided from Te Anau, where needed."

Mr Robson was in Milford Sound with staff yesterday.

The man's name is expected to be released today.

The Southland Times