Search winding down

Bryce John Jourdain
Bryce John Jourdain
Stephen Lewis Kahukaka-Gedye
Stephen Lewis Kahukaka-Gedye
Felipe Melo
Felipe Melo

The search for three people missing at sea after a rock climbing tragedy at Paritutu rock on Wednesday will be scaled down tomorrow.

At a press conference this afternoon Incident Controller Inspector Frank Grant said the weather and sea conditions are expected to worsen over the weekend.

''A scaled down version of the search means we will still have shoreline searches with a similar number of personnel with further assistance from the Red Cross,'' he said.

''We will still have a couple of IRB units assist with sea searches and also have the assistance of two kayaks to search in and around the breakwater of the port.

''We won't be using any air capability unless deemed necessary,'' Mr Grant said.

Spotswood College pupils Stephen Lewis Kahukaka-Gedye, 17, of New Plymouth, Joao Felipe Martins De Melo, known as Felipe Melo, 17, of Brazil, and Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre instructor Bryce John Jourdain, 42,  are all presumed drowned after falling off Paritutu during a climb.

Mr Grant said police have used every available resource to them over the past two days.

''Shoreline searches will be carried out throughout the course of the weekend in a continuing effort to locate their bodies and return them to their loved ones.''

Mr Jourdain's wife, Robyn, attended the press conference with her sister, Sue Armstrong.

She spoke of her husband's positive attitude towards living life to the fullest.

''Bryce is the most amazing Dad to Issac and Grace. Our children mean the world to us,'' she said.

Taranaki Daily News