A Police diving team from Wellington has so far found no sign of a 46 year old fisherman who is missing presumed drowned in the coastal waters of Gulf Harbour.
Police say the man and his companion were returning to shore in their four metre aluminium boat before dawn on Saturday morning when several large waves swept across the boat causing it to sink rapidly. Both men went into the water.
Police say the incident happened about 100 metres offshore. A 36 year old male companion who is a relative of the missing fisherman was able to swim to safety. An immediate search was launched by Police, the Hibiscus Coast Coastguard volunteers, assisted by the police launch Deodar, and the Police Eagle Helicopter.
Relatives and local volunteers are continuing to assist Police staff with the shoreline search and the family are maintaining a vigil at the Gulf Harbour marina in the hope that the man who is missing presumed drowned will be found soon.
The police diving team arrived from Wellington earlier today and intensive grid searches are being carried out in waters about 12 metres deep, at a distance of about 50 - 100 metres offshore. Sea conditions for the search are perfect.
The fishing net used by the missing man and his companion, a short wooden stake, a wooden oar, a life jacket, a buoy, a torch, a black cap and a pair of waders have been located. There has been no sign of the boat which the two men were using
Police say the Hibiscus Coast Coastguard volunteers; the local boating community and residents in the Okoromai Bay and Gulf Harbour, as well as the relatives of the missing fisherman have made a significant contribution to the search which has been ongoing for the past four days. A decision on whether to continue the search will be made tomorrow. Sea and tidal conditions will determine suitability for further coastal water sweeps by both Deodar and the police divers.
Kevin [Kev] Loughlin
District Communications Manager / Media Advisor
Waitemata Police District
12-14 Northcroft Street - Takapuna - Auckland
Phone 09 488 9758 - Extn 96308 - Mobile 027 281 0271
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org