Search continues for missing dinghy

8 June 2007

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is continuing to coordinate the search for a 25-year-old Napier man missing in a dinghy off the coast of Napier.

RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said the Phillips Rescue Trust plane from Taupo would continue to search for the man today in an area to the North East of Cape Kidnappers.  The plane is also equipped with radar and camera equipment which allows it to search at night if required. Searchers would be covering an area of approximately 380 square nautical miles (700km) which overlaps the approximately 2,400 square km area searched yesterday. A helicopter from Hawkes Bay Rescue Trust is also conducting a close inshore search from Awatoto to Cape Kidnappers.

A search by Napier police of beaches around the Cape Kidnappers area early today was unsuccessful.

The missing man is understood to have gone out in the 8 foot aluminium dinghy from Awatoto Beach, Napier, between 4.00am and 11.45am yesterday, amid strong offshore winds.  He was reported missing to police by a family member.

Mr Lunt said wind conditions were forecast to worsen today, with offshore winds of about 40 knots (70km/h) predicted.

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