A police diver makes their way into the waters of Doubtless Bay. Photo / Supplied
The family of a kayaker missing since Thursday on the east coast of the Far North has pledged to keep searching until the beloved father is brought home.
They say the Kaitāia man failed to return home after heading out for a kayak from Aurere in Doubtless Bay, about 7pm.
Since then, the New Zealand Royal Navy and members of the National Police Dive Squad have been called in to help find the experienced fisherman. They were the latest to join the mammoth search efforts that involve Police Search and Rescue (SAR), LandSAR volunteers, Far North Surf Rescue, Karikari Fire and Emergency Services, and Far North Radio.
Coastguard Whangaroa also spent more than 14 hours scouring at times rough seas over the weekend as they and local marae and community groups tried to find the missing kayaker.
But whānau say their loved one is yet to be returned by Tangaroa, god of the sea.
The Advocate understands the man’s kayak was discovered at sea on Saturday. Northland Coastguard Air Patrol guided Far North Surf Rescue lifeguards to the kayak but the man remains missing.
A relative vowed that whānau and friends, all out searching for the missing kayaker, wouldn’t give up on him.
“[We’re] not leaving and not stopping ‘till we get you back my bro. Stay safe everyone, we got you my bro,” they said online.
And like the man, described by his family as “the best fisherman and kai moana diver” who never came home empty-handed, they refused to either.
A rāhui, supported by all marae with ties to Doubtless Bay, is in place within the boundary of Berghan’s Point and Knuckle Point in the bay at the southern end of Tokerau Beach and will remain until further notice.
Coastguard Whangaroa skipper and volunteer Ross Wagner said they had been working in calm conditions on Saturday but Sunday’s seas became rough.
He said four volunteers on the second day extensively searched the northern side of Doubtless Bay as well as a shoreline search on the southern side past Te Reinga Bay.
Wagner said a “hell of a lot” was being done to try to find the kayaker.
If anyone has any information relevant to the search, please call 111.