Two missing as boat capsizes near Milford
Sun, 16 Sep 2012 7:34a.m.
A Coastguard plane has joined a desperate search for two people and a fishing boat believed to have capsized in foul weather off the coast of Fiordland.
Police were alerted yesterday after a second fishing boat spotted a fuel slick 3 kilometres north of Milford Sound at 5pm. Ninety minutes later an inflated liferaft was found 12km away with no one on board, Sergeant Ian Martin of Southland police said.
A life ring and some other items were also found nearby.
Three fishing vessels and two helicopters equipped with night-vision goggles and thermal imaging equipment were involved in the search last night but the helicopters had to give up at 8:30pm as bad weather restricted visibility.
The search was continuing this morning, joined by a Coastguard Southland fixed-wing aircraft.
The name of the vessel and the identity of the two people believed to be on board would not be released until next of kin were informed, Sgt Martin said.
The Milford area was hit by strong winds, heavy rain and snow yesterday, closing the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound.
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