Search for missing boatie continues
A land, air and sea search has so far failed to find any sign of a 52-year-old missing when his boat capsized off the Tauranga coast.
Katikati farmer Tim Mair was thrown into the water late on Monday afternoon while trying to cross the Bowentown bar at the northern entrance of Tauranga Harbour.
The 4.3-metre aluminium boat he was in flipped after being struck by a rogue wave and his seven-year-old grandson, his 23-year-old daughter, his 15-year-old son and his 14-year-old friend also went into the water.
All apart from Mr Mair made it to Matakana Island and a passing boat found them more than two hours later.
An extensive search of the inner harbour, involving a helicopter and boats, on Monday evening and on Tuesday failed to find Mr Mair, but another boatie found his submerged boat on Tuesday morning.
Constable Dave Pitchford says the search will now switch to a shoreline search over the next two days.
"If we haven't located Tim by then we will then re-evaluate our options," he said.
Const Pitchford says conditions were marginal when Mr Mair tried to cross the bar and although lifejackets were being carried on the boat, not all aboard were wearing them.
Mr Mair's family has paid tribute to the volunteers who have helped search for the boatie.