A person who jumped from a crane into Wellington Harbour earlier this afternoon has been found dead.
Divers found the person’s body in the water at about 2.35pm, a police spokesperson said.
They said a rāhui will now be put in place, with further details to be provided soon.
Emergency services were first called to the incident at about 12.45pm when the person “failed to surface” after jumping into the water.
“The person was reported to have jumped from a crane on a boat that is permanently moored at the harbour.
“Police will be undertaking inquiries into the circumstances of this incident, however at this early stage there is no further information or comment available.”
A witness at the scene told 1News that a man climbed all the way to the top of the crane.
Another said that they saw him in the air and heard a splash, but that no one could see him when they looked over.
“He came up floating, and everyone was like ‘oh, he’s not like face up’, and so a bunch of people jumped in and they kept looking for him but then he’s sunk.”
It is the third death to occur after someone jumped from the Hikitia Floating Crane.
A 20-year-old died jumping from it after a night out in 2015.
A week before his death, a video of a person filmed jumping from the crane had gone viral, sparking warnings from police.
The crane is owned by the Maritime Heritage Trust of Wellington and spokesman Malcolm McGregor told 1News the trust had recently installed a CCTV system to monitor the vessel.
After the previous death in 2015, the trust discussed safety measures with Wellington City Council and concluded that fencing or other measures would not stop someone who was determined to climb the crane.
He had visited the waterfront this afternoon.
“All we can think of is how awful it must be for the family, whānau, and friends,” he said.
An earlier death occurred in 1996, according to Water Safety New Zealand.
The organisation’s chief executive Daniel Gerrard said the tragedies highlighted the risks associated with unauthorised and unsupervised jumping activities.
“The recent tragedy is a heart-wrenching reminder of the critical importance of water safety. Our thoughts are with their friends and whanau during this incredibly sad time.”
A spokesperson for the Manu World Champs told 1News that the event on Wellington’s waterfront will be shifted to an indoor pool.
Organiser Scott Rice said they stopped competition today as soon as they heard of the death, which happened a short distance from the event and was unrelated.
Rice said the event would be held at Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre tomorrow and Sunday.
“We are now focusing our attention on how we make that move and respect the situation also.”