Skydiver’s friends ’broken hearted’

Tyler Nii was a tennis coach in California - Photo: Facebook / Tyler Nii

Friends of an American tourist have spoken of their shock and grief of his presumed death in a tandem skydiving accident at Lake Wakatipu.

Californian Tyler Nii, 27, has not been seen since Wednesday following a tandem skydiving jump.

His instructor was rescued from the water 20 minutes after the jump, with only minor bruises.

Police divers with sonar equipment would not arrive at Lake Wakatipu until tomorrow.

Police have previously said recovering Tyler's body would be complex because the area where he fell was 250m deep.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission is investigating.

Tyler was a tennis coach and worked for Player Capital Tennis, an amateur sports team in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco.

In a post on Facebook, Player Capital Students shared the news "with the heaviest of hearts".

"We have absolutely no words for a time like this, we are not just a tennis program, we care for each other as family.

"This tragic news has left us completely broken hearted."

Jason Scalese wrote on Facebook that since hearing of his colleague's death he had been "numb communicating the news to his students and friends".

"I was very blessed to call Tyler a great friend.

"I've had the privilege of working with him at Player Capital Tennis where he went from a rookie coach to one of our most beloved and one of the best in the Bay Area. I have never met, and doubt I will ever meet, someone to have an ill word to say about this fine young man."

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