Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Missing" Scuba Diver Faces Charges

Not smart.

The ex-Dunedin man who was the subject of an intense two-day land and sea search in the Wellington district before he turned up at a Hawke's Bay police station will be charge with wasting police time.

Father-of-three Colin Smithies, 49, was thought to have gone missing while diving for paua at Titahi Bay, north of Wellington, on Monday.

However, last night he walked into a police station in Clive, outside Hastings. He was taken to Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital for medical treatment before being transferred overnight back to his family in Wellington.

Detective Senior Sergeant Donna Howard told a press conference today Mr Smithies would be charged with wasting police time, and he was in medical care.

She would not say what the nature of that care was, but said Mr Smithies had helped police today and was remorseful.

He did not know where he had been for two days, but it appeared he had hitch-hiked from Titahi Bay to Clive.

"He's now in the care of medical professionals to make sure he is safe and well," Ms Howard said.

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