Late night search finds boatie safe and well

Late night search finds boatie safe and well

National News

Search and Rescue specialists have found a man safe and well after he went missing on his boat while diving with a friend off Titahi Bay.

Sergeant Jo Holden, Wellington Police Search and Rescue, said the alarm was raised after one of the men surfaced at 6.30pm from his second dive for kina to find that his friend and their 14ft fibreglass boat had disappeared.

"The diver had a good look for his boatman and the boat, but he couldn't see anything so swam ashore and then ran to the nearest house in Titahi Bay to raise the alarm," she said.

Police were called at 8.10pm and sent out Mana Coastguard and the Westpac Rescue helicopter to search the area south of Mana Island.

Westpac Rescue equipped with night sun and night vision equipment, and two police Search and Rescue aerial observers on board, swept the coastline from Makara north.

Shortly before 11pm they found the boat on the rocks about 3.5km south of Titahi Bay. The boat was empty and a further search found the stranded boatie about 1km north, safe and well on the beach.

The man was picked up and flown to Kenepuru Hospital. He didn't need any medical treatment.

Sergeant Holden said the boat had broken down and washed ashore.

Ends