Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NZONE Skydive: Accident occurred January 10, 2018 in Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand

A parachute malfunction may be to blame for tandem skydivers crashing into Queenstown's Lake Wakatipu. 

The instructor was pulled from the water, but the other man remains missing. 

Emergency services responded to the incident involving Queenstown skydiving company NZONE in Jack's Point, in the Drift Bay area, at 1.42pm on Wednesday.

The instructor was taken to Lakes District Hospital with minor injuries. 

About 12 boats, a helicopter, two small planes and a jet ski searched the lake for the missing man until about 4.40pm.

Coastguard, the harbourmaster and water taxis were involved. 

A shoreline search involving LandSAR and the Coastguard was suspended about 6.30pm.

"The commission is tracking the continuing search and rescue operation, and deploying two investigators, expected to arrive on the scene as soon as practicable on Thursday," a TAIC statement said.

Police said they would assess the situation from 9am Thursday. 

NZONE, which operates in Jack's Point, suspended further jumps after the incident.

The firm said a "highly-experienced instructor, who had completed thousands of jumps", was finishing a tandem jump with a male customer when they landed in a the water.

"Appropriate authorities are conducting an investigation," the company said. 

Business development manager Derek Melnick earlier said: "We reported to the authorities and and they are attending."

In January last year, NZONE tandem skydivers Sasa Jojic and Sasa Ljaskevic, both from Serbia, were hospitalised after they crash-landed during a staff training jump. They jumped from 4500 metres and attempted a low turn when coming into land. 

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