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Published: 2009-09-17 00:00:00

Environment Waikato Chief Executive Bob Laing has extended his condolences to the family of contractor Grant Van Kampen who died at Port Waikato yesterday.

“Our hearts are with Grant’s family at this time and we will be doing all we can to support them,” he said.

Details about the accident that led to his death are still sketchy. Mr Van Kampen was on a ladder installing a monitoring system in a tide level recorder on the wharf at Port Waikato when he fell into the river. It is not clear what caused him to fall.

Police divers found Mr Van Kampen’s body at approximately 7.30pm yesterday.

“We are still trying to piece together what exactly happened and we will be looking to the formal investigation to provide the answers,” Mr Laing said.

The Department of Labour is investigating.

Mr Laing said Mr Van Kampen had worked for Environment Waikato for about five years during the 1990s before going out on his own as a contractor.

“He had many friends in this organisation and they are deeply shocked and upset.”

Counselling had been made available to staff personally affected by the tragedy, he said.

Mr Laing said the council wanted to specially thank the Port Waikato community who had rallied to support searchers and EW staff throughout yesterday afternoon and evening.