Flare call prompts lake search


Two boats and a helicopter searched Lake Wakatipu for two hours overnight after a red distress flare was seen by a member of the public in Fernhill.

Coastguard volunteer skipper Tim Buckley says a Coastguard boat with four volunteers, a second private vessel and a helicopter with night vision equipment searched the Walter Peak area of the lake for about two hours after the alarm was raised about 10.45pm last night.

Police stood the search down at 1am this morning after an extensive search found nothing.

Buckley: “As far as we’re aware, nobody was reported overdue or in distress – there was no radio signal.

“You can make your own assumptions given it was fireworks night.”

Despite the outcome, the public should always raise the alarm if they see something out of the ordinary, Buckley says.

“We’d rather be called for nothing than not called for something.”