Is it Kerry Blair's boat?
A statement sent by Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand confirmed that the boat that Mr Blair was last seen on on March 8 had been found.
A RNZAF P3 Orion aeroplane was launched on behalf of the police, and early Friday evening, the boat was located drifting approximately 90 nautical [166km] miles west-northwest of New Plymouth, the statement said. The boat was in good condition but there was no sign of life aboard.
However, at the time it was not possible to confirm without doubt that it was the correct boat.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand [RCCNZ] facilitated contact between the police and a tug in New Plymouth. The tug left for the boat in the early hours of Saturday morning with police officers aboard, and reached the estimated position of the boat but could not find it.
The Orion had to be recalled to find the boat again and the tug made contact with it on Saturday afternoon and confirmed that it was indeed the boat Mr Blair had last been seen on. However, Cyclone Luci weather made it impossible to attempt a boarding or retrieval of the craft, but the tug remained alongside until the conditions improved.
Mr Blair’s brother Peter Blair was unavailable for comment this morning. More details to come.