Man missing near Takaka River

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The whereabouts and safety of a Takaka freedom camper, James Rano Dick, known locally as Hemi, is unknown after he was reported missing by his friends on Thursday afternoon.

The last known sighting of Hemi was at 3:30pm on Wednesday when he was seen in waist deep water, by the crusher plant below the rapids in the Takaka River. He was wearing only khaki cargo pants.

Hemi is 180cm tall, with long dreadlocks and he has distinctive large neck tattoos.

On Wednesday he told friends that he was just going for a walk along the other side of the river and when he failed to return to his freedom camp they raised the alarm on Thursday afternoon.

Police have made appeals for any sightings of Hemi on social media and so far they have had no confirmed sightings of Hemi since Wednesday afternoon. Takaha police have also visited friends of Hemi who also have not seen him since Wednesday.

On Friday the Takaka river banks were searched by two LandSAR teams and the river was searched by a kayak team. Today, searching will be undertaken around the vicinity where he was last seen.

Search Controller Senior Constable David Cogger asked for any one that has seen Hemi after 3:30pm Wednesday this week to contact the Nelson Police on 03 5463840.