Johnny Latimer, pictured in April 2012, was ‘lost at sea’ nearly a week ago. Photo / Givealittle
The whānau of a Kaitāia man described as a “good soul lost at sea” for nearly a week is raising funds to spur on the massive search efforts.
Johnny Latimer is yet to be found after he headed out on his kayak from Aurere at the southern end of Tokerau Beach in the Far North about 7pm last Thursday.
A large cohort of emergency services, including the New Zealand Royal Navy and members of the National Police Dive Squad, have been looking for the experienced fisherman ever since.
Police Search and Rescue (SAR), LandSAR volunteers, Far North Surf Rescue, Karikari Fire and Emergency Services, Coastguard Whangaroa and Northland Coastguard Air Patrol, as well as Far North Radio have helped comb the bay’s coastline and waters.
Whānau, friends, and Doubtless Bay locals added their efforts to the search as they continue to turn out daily to help find Latimer.
The family’s plight was laid bare on the page: “A good soul lost at sea, please help us find him and bring him home.”
The loss of Latimer was described as having added to the devastation already experienced by whānau in the last year.
“Search and Rescue are doing their best, as well as our family members, to find him and bring him home.”
The page was set up so searchers can access funds that will help pay for gas, food, and water to fend off the summer temperatures during long days of looking for Latimer.
By 3pm yesterday, 26 people had donated $1515 through the Givealittle page, which signs off with a message of unity.
“We are stronger together, one love whānau, We love you Uncle Johnny. COME HOME SOON.”
A police spokesperson confirmed the search which was stood down on Tuesday evening continued the following day.
They asked that anyone who spots something of interest in the Doubtless Bay area contact police immediately on 105.
A rāhui, supported by all marae with ties to Doubtless Bay, remains in place within the boundary of Berghan’s Point and Knuckle Point. Local patrols have not stopped people from swimming in the area.