Search for missing man continues

Saturday 12 January 2013, 6:43PM
By Maritime New Zealand

The Police Dive Squad has been searching throughout Saturday for a 72-year-old man missing off the Wairarapa coast, but no sign of the man has been found.

The Martinborough man went out from Sandy Bay near Te Awaiti at 11am on Thursday to set a crayfish pot.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) managed a search involving a RNZAF P3 Orion, helicopters, fishing boats, and a land-based coastal search on Friday.

A helicopter made a further search on Saturday morning, and the Police Dive Squad has undertaken a series of dives in Sandy Bay throughout the day, progressively widening their search around the area near the man's crayfish pot at the mouth of the bay.

RCCNZ said the man's family has confirmed that a 2-3m inflatable boat found on Friday 68km (37 nautical miles) off the coast was his boat.

RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Keith Allen said the search effort will be reviewed overnight to reach a decision on the next stage of the search.

A further update will be issued after midday tomorrow, unless there are further developments.