Man missing after 2am boat fall
Police and Coastguard are scouring the Marlborough Sounds shoreline for a Blenheim man who fell from a launch about 2am today.
The search is under way in the Endeavour Inlet area near the northern entrance of Queen Charlotte Sound.
Furneaux Lodge owner Geoff Faulkner said the man, aged 45, was with his daughter and her partner on the launch. He was not wearing a life jacket.
The trio had visited Furneaux Lodge earlier in the night and were heading back to a bach at Marine Head, near the entrance to Endeavour Inlet, he said.
They were drinking beer and playing pool but Faulkner did not believe they had much to drink.
''Our bar staff said they didn't appear to be inebriated when they left,'' he said.
He was hopeful the man would still be found alive but was concerned about how long he had been missing.
''It depends how close they were to the coast. If they were close to the shore there is still a chance.''
The water was cold at this time of year, he said.
The lodge general manager had been searching in the lodge boat since 3.30am. The conditions had been flat and calm, he said.
It was understood one of the people on the boat sent out a mayday call, saying a person had been lost overboard.
Police, a Coastguard helicopter and the Bluebridge Santa Regina ferry were involved in the search overnight, with the police dive squad joining from Wellington this morning.
A Bluebridge spokeswoman said its rescue boat searched for about three hours before it was stood down just before 6am.
The ferry was left running about three hours behind schedule.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Will you be spending more this Christmas than last?
View obituaries from around the region