Wild weather thwarts hunt for two miss­ing fish­er­men

They failed to re­turn from a fish­ing comp on Fri­day but high seas and 100kmh winds pre­vented the coast­guard from search­ing for them yes­ter­day, writer Amanda Saxton.

Sunday News - - NEWS -

‘‘QUITE nasty’’ weather has ham­pered the search for two fish­er­men who have been been miss­ing off Great Bar­rier Is­land since Fri­day.

Yes­ter­day’s wild con­di­tions – in­clud­ing winds of more than 100kmh and a swell of 3.5m – meant the coast­guard couldn’t put out to sea and lo­cals who tried to search the area were forced back af­ter the alarm was raised just be­fore mid­day that the men had failed to re­turn to port.

The fish­er­men left Tryphena at noon on Fri­day for the an­nual Black Jug Fish­ing Hag­gle and were due back at 5pm.

Po­lice en­listed the help of the coast­guard, but Coast­guard spokes­woman Ge­orgie Smith said it had been ‘‘too dan­ger­ous’’ to send staff out .

‘‘We as­sessed the con­di­tions and from the coast­guard’s point of view it was not safe,’’ she said. ‘‘Mem­bers of the pub­lic have been out in their boats to search, but have had to turn back.’’

The fish­ing com­pe­ti­tion’s weigh-in sched­uled for 5pm yes­ter­day was can­celled and or­gan­is­ers said they did not wish to com­ment on the miss­ing com­peti­tors.

The Auck­land Po­lice Mar­itime Unit searched for the fish­er­men from 11.45am un­til 8pm last night, when op­er­a­tions were called off.

Gale force winds and high seas had been at play around the is­land from early yes­ter­day morn­ing and into the af­ter­noon, said Metser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist Doug Ma­son.

‘‘The con­di­tions are quite nasty ... pretty hard if you’re out at sea in a small boat,’’ he said.

He said the wind had eased by night­fall, but heavy rains would con­tinue into to­day and there was also a thun­der­storm risk.

Yes­ter­day’s gale force winds also top­pled trees and tangled power lines in Auck­land leav­ing more than 1000 homes with­out power; broght snow to the Crown Range in Cen­tral Otago; and last night there were re­ports of dam­age to a house’s roof in Morn­ing­side and the evac­u­a­tion of a camp­ground in Piha af­ter flood­ing.

And those hop­ing for a

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.