Navy joins search for missing man
The navy has joined the search for missing Blenheim man Craig Partridge, who fell off a launch in the Marlborough Sounds early on Tuesday morning.
Navy members joined divers onboard the police launch Lady Elizabeth IV today as they search the Endeavour Inlet area of the Sounds for the 45-year-old winegrower.
A police spokeswoman said the navy's sophisticated sonar equipment would give an accurate picture of the seabed within co-ordinates in the search area.
Results of the search are expected late today.
Police divers will continue searching along the shoreline for Partridge today, the spokewoman said.
Police said yesterday they had recovered a jacket belonging to Partridge in the search area. Partridge, who lives in the Omaka Valley, is believed to have been with his daughter and her partner on a commercial fishing boat when he disappeared overboard in Endeavour Inlet about 2am on Tuesday.
They had been at Furneaux Lodge during the night, where they had been drinking and playing pool.
Furneaux Lodge owner Geoff Faulkner said the trio did not appear to be drunk when they left the lodge about midnight to go back to a bach at Marine Head, near the entrance to Endeavour Inlet.
It is understood Partridge was not wearing a life jacket when he fell overboard. It is believed Partridge's daughter sent out a mayday call about 2.50am, saying a person had been lost overboard.
- © Fairfax NZ News