POLICE divers conducted a final search last week for the body of a New Zealand student who disappeared in rough surf off rocks near Blairgowrie after he had jumped in to rescue a friend a week earlier.
Divers conducted an extensive search of the rocky coastline at Pearses Beach last Wednesday but were unable to find the 20-year-old man’s body.
Underwater search efforts – following the Melbourne University student’s disappearance on Wednesday 6 November – have been hampered by poor weather and rough seas.
Police search and rescue officials said no further dive operations were planned in the area at this stage but Parks Victoria would continue to monitor the shoreline.
Police believe the man was swept under a rock ledge or crevice, rather than out to sea, based on interviews with his two friends, who had witnessed his disappearance.
The man, a New Zealand resident of Korean descent, was visiting the peninsula with two friends when one of them slipped off rocks into rough seas.
Sorrento police said the man had bravely jumped into the water and helped his friend safely back onto the rocks but was then swept underwater when hit by a large wave as he attempted to climb out.
A rescue helicopter arrived within an hour but was unable to locate the man.
Uniformed police from a number of Mornington Peninsula stations were joined by the police air wing, search and resuce divers as well as SES and coast guard volunteers to continue the search over the past week.
The man’s mother, father and brother visited the area last weekend accompanied by police.