Update on search for missing man

8 June 2007

The search for a Hawkes Bay man missing in a dinghy off the Napier Coast has been called off for tonight.

Searchers have been looking for 25-year-old Hastings man Ngati John Cornelius since early yesterday afternoon (Thursday 7 June) after he was reported missing by a family member. Mr Cornelius went out in the dinghy from Awatoto Beach, Napier, sometime between 4.00am and 11.45am on Thursday, amid strong offshore winds.  He had no safety equipment on board and was lightly dressed. He was also understood to have been drinking.

RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said all the information gathered during the search for Mr Cornelius over the last two days was being reviewed, and a decision about whether to continue would be made tomorrow morning (Saturday 9 June). Mr Cornelius’s family were also being kept informed.

Mr Lunt said the search so far had been extensive, covering an area of approximately 3,200 square kilometres over the last 37 hours, with local police, Coastguard, the Phillips Rescue Trust Plane, the Hawkes Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust all involved in looking for Mr Cornelius.

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