West Coast rafter who died on Ahaura River named, as family thank volunteers for returning body

Source: 1News

The family of the rafter who died after falling into the Ahaura River on Sunday have expressed their gratitude to volunteers who helped return his body.

The man was last seen when he fell out of a raft at midday.

Police named the man as 22-year-old Cordell Joseph Nigel O’Malley of Ngahere in the Grey District.

“Cordell’s wife and parents wish to pass on their heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers who helped bring Cordell back to them,” a police spokesperson.

O’Malley was in a private group of four people, travelling on two rafts, when he fell overboard.

A private jet boat was used in the search which also involved the police national dive squad and police drones. 

The death has been reported to the Coroner.