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A major search for a missing swimmer who went missing after jumping into the Waimakariri River this evening has been put on hold overnight.
This is the second water-related emergency incident in Canterbury today after a young child died from an alleged drowning in a Christchurch swimming pool.
Police said emergency services were told at 7:10 p.m. that a person had not surfaced after jumping into the Waimakariri River.
A massive search and rescue operation has been underway since then, involving the police, rescue helicopter, coast guard and Surf Lifesaving.
“Unfortunately, the person has not yet been located. The search should resume tomorrow morning.”
Flynn Parker was at the scene, said there were around three to four police cars and two ambulances involved in the rescue at the popular rope swing site.
“A helicopter came very quickly and searched for two hours in the trees. About four boats, including the harbor master and kayaks, etc., all staring into the water.”
He said volunteers joined in the search and the police watched.
“We didn’t know that something was going on until the helicopter came quickly and flew very low to the ground, around 7:15 to 7:30 p.m.”
He said kayaks, boats and a group of people on small orange boats were looking for the swimmer near the rope swing.
âNot looking very optimistic, unfortunately. “
A spokesperson for the St Johns ambulance said earlier that a rescue helicopter, police and St John were looking for the swimmer.
Photos from the scene show a rescue helicopter hovering over an area of ââthe river as several people watch from the riverside.
Another shows a swing hanging from a tree near the water.
Two Coastguard North Canterbury rescue ships were assisting the police in the search.
The research comes after a child died in an alleged drowning earlier today in a Christchurch swimming pool.
A distraught woman was heard screaming “this is my baby” as a child was pulled out of the water without reacting.
A police spokesperson said emergency services were called to the Waltham Pool in Sydenham at 2:45 p.m. after reports a child was found unconscious.
“CPR was performed, but tragically the child could not be resuscitated. The circumstances are being investigated.”
A traumatized woman who was at the pool with her 8-month-old baby told Stuff she was in the wading pool when she heard the lifeguard’s whistle.
She initially thought that someone was breaking the rules.
“But then a lady on the grassy hill in front of me shouted ‘this is my baby’ and she and a group of people ran from the grass to the pool, where a child had come out.”
The woman said as many as 30 people gathered as rescuers desperately tried to revive the baby, she said.
Nigel Cox, head of recreation, sports and events at Christchurch City Council, said the pool will be closed today and tomorrow.
âOur hearts are with the family at this tragic time,â he said.
“As a police investigation is underway, we will not be making any further comment at this time.”
It was 30C in Christchurch today and many people flocked to the city’s beaches, rivers and swimming pools to cool off.