Search for missing boy called off

ROB KIDD
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013

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The search for an Papakura boy missing in the Hauraki Gulf for almost two weeks has been called off.

A Royal New Zealand Navy team scoured the seabed using a high-tech device in a bid to find Don Sang-Yum, 11, who disappeared after the boat he and three family members were in capsized on January 18.

But police revealed yesterday the recently-reviewed 3D footage failed to find any sign of his body.

A police spokeswoman said the police Eagle helicopter crew also "kept an eye out" when flying over the area but had not seen anything so far.

Sang-Yum, his father and two cousins set off from Kawakawa Bay about 11am on January 17 but the 12-foot runabout capsized within an hour of launching.

The four were reported missing just before midnight and a yacht came across the upturned hull of the runabout near Ponui Island 20 hours later.

Police said the men had huddled together in the dark clinging to the boat. Sang-Yum had drifted away from his family about 2am.

Two of the men were found clinging to the overturned boat and one was floating nearby.

The yachtie rescued one of the survivors and the Westpac rescue helicopter winched the second aboard. A police Eagle helicopter crew member jumped into the sea with a flotation device to rescue the third man.

All three were taken to hospital for treatment and released.

None of the survivors were wearing lifejackets when they were found but two could be seen on board when the runabout was towed ashore.

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