Search for boat­ies sees lake level low­ered

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

The search for two miss­ing men on Lake Ara­puni con­tin­ues, be­ing al­most a week since po­lice were no­ti­fied of the dis­ap­pear­ance.

James Roberts, 45, and Jor­dan Poo­ley, 21 went out on a boat last Sunday Au­gust 28 and have not been seen since.

At the time South Waikato News went to print, ef­forts were be­ing made to lower the wa­ter level in the lake.

The son of James Roberts has trav­elled from Afghanistan back home to Eng­land as mys­tery and spec­u­la­tion swirl around the dis- ap­pear­ance of his fa­ther on Lake Ara­puni, near Pu­taruru.

Ben­jamin Roberts, aged in his mid-20s, is on ac­tive ser­vice but has been granted com­pas­sion­ate leave to re­turn to his Corn­wall­based family.

It comes as James’ step-sis­ter, Jon­ica Bray, pre­pares to fly in from her Syd­ney home to help in the search for Mr Roberts.

‘‘Whilst we are pre­par­ing our­selves for the worst, as a family, we need clo­sure,’’ Miss Bray said.

Mr Roberts, 45, an English­man liv­ing in Pu­taruru, and Toko­roa man Jor­dan Poo­ley, 21, have not been seen since set­ting off in their boat at the north­ern end of the lake.

They were re­ported miss­ing last Wed­nes­day evening.

There has been no sign of the pair and to­mor­row the wa­ter level in the lake will be low­ered as the search moves into its next phase.

‘‘Their dis­ap­pear­ance has us just as baf­fled as ev­ery­one in the Waikato,’’ Miss Bray said.

Her step-brother loved fish­ing and was ‘‘liv­ing his dream’’ after mov­ing to New Zealand about three years ago, she said.

‘‘He loved that part of the world. He had been so much hap­pier since he moved there. He had made it his home.’’

In June, Mr Roberts’ fa­ther vis­ited his son and spent time with him on the lake, she said.

The family had been over­whelmed by the sup­port and search ef­forts from the Waikato com­mu­nity.

‘‘We would re­ally like to ex­tend our thanks to the com­mu­nity for all their help. We un­der­stand vol­un­teers have been out on boats, on kayaks, and even farm­ers have been us­ing their chop­pers to con­duct aerial searches.’’

Taupo po­lice are con­tin­u­ing to speak to lo­cals and vis­i­tors in the area to try and gain any new in­for­ma­tion about the move­ments of the two men on the lake last week­end. Taupo po­lice area Com­man­der In­spec­tor Steve Bul­lock said sev­eral items of cloth­ing had been found that may be­long to the miss­ing men. ‘‘If so, this could help us to nar­row down the search area.’’ The po­lice dive squad spent Mon­day work­ing in the lake.

PROUD SUP­PORTER: Toko­roa can boast one of the big­gest All Black sup­port­ers in the coun­try, The Pine Man has donned the sil­ver fern, gear­ing up to sup­port the All Blacks for the Rugby World Cup which kicks off this Fri­day.

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