SEARCH AND RESCUE

Update Waihi beach maratime search

Tuesday 29 January 2013, 5:01PM
By New Zealand Police
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While searchers have recovered a boat involved in an overnight capsizing in the inner Tauranga Harbour a missing man remains unaccounted for.

Waikato Police Search and Rescue Coordinator, Constable Dave Pitchford, said an extensive search of the inner harbour, involving the Auckland based Police Eagle helicopter and local Coastguard and Surf Life Saving vessels, took place this morning while Land SAR volunteers and Mine Rescue members conducted a shore search.

"The submerged boat believed to have been carrying the five people was located by a local boatee this morning and our plan is to continue the search through to this evening and then reassess our activities for tomorrow.

"The incident occurred between 5-5.30pm and four people aged 07-23-years-old made it to shore on Matakana Island and then flagged down a passing boat which landed them back at Waihi Beach where the alarm was raised about 8pm.

Mr Pitchford said earlier reports the four recovered people were siblings were incorrect.

"The skipper of the boat is a 52-year-old Katikati man and others onboard were his 15-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter, a seven-year-old grandson and a 14-year-old friend of the teenage boy.

"At this point in time Waikato Police would like to thank all the individuals and organisations involved in the search. It is during trying times such as these that the true strength of communities can be seen."