Search for boaties sees lake level lowered
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.