Wanaka Coastguard along with Yacht Club and Wanaka Police and Land SAR members spent the evening combing the waters of Roys Bay, in Wanaka searching for a missing man who had fallen from a Yacht in the bay.
Police SAR Coordinator Sergeant Aaron Nicholson stated that at just after 6pm Thursday evening 70 year old Trevor Lloyd Hawke was out sailing with an associate. The Yacht he was in lurched unexpectedly and Mr Hawke fell into the water. Mr Hawke's associate rounded the Yacht a number of times to try to pick up Mr Hawke but unfortunately he could not make it back onto the vessel and was seen to sink under the water and out of sight.
Members of the Yacht Club who were in the area came to assist and Police were notified. The Wanaka Coast Guard and a search Helicopter were immediately deployed to the area resulting in an extensive search until night fall. Unfortunately there was no sign of Mr Hawke.
Sergeant Nicholson said that given the time that has elapsed since he was last seen, there was little hope of survival in such cold waters. Police suspended the search until the following day.
Police will continue a with a sonar search on Friday morning, focused on the area he was last seen and consider the use of the Police Dive Squad to try to recovery the body.
Mr Hawke's wife and family have been informed and are obviously shocked and grieving at the news.