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The search for Eroni Ravaga Gaunavou missing off Akitio Beach will continue into the weekend at which point police will reassess their involvement.
Sergeant Andy Brooke, Palmerston North Search and Rescue, said police involvement is likely to be scaled back over the weekend but extensive checks are continuing to be made at low tide both north and south of the point where the popular young Fijian swimmer was last seen on Monday afternoon.
“We’re using a helicopter again today for sweeps of some of the more rugged parts of the coastline difficult for searching on foot,” he said. “The local community and Eroni’s friends and family are out actively looking for him and I am sure they will continue to do so if the official search is suspended.”
There was no sign of Eroni at low tide early this morning and further sweeps using a helicopter and boat will be made again at low tide later today and into tomorrow.
“We can’t speak highly enough of efforts being made by local people and Eroni’s friends including his rugby playing clubmates to find this young man.”
Sergeant Brooke said police are regularly updating Eroni’s parents in Fiji and other family members, some of whom are with the search.
“Water conditions are a bit murky today making aerial visibility more difficult but local fishermen are keeping an eye out for any sightings.”