One dead and another missing after inflatable boat flips off Kapiti Coast video

MONIQUE FORD / Stuff.co.nz

A major search and rescue operation off the Otaki river mouth north of Wellington on Monday. The body of one man has been recovered but searchers are continuing the search for a second person on Tuesday.

The search for a second person missing after a small boat capsized off the Kapiti Coast has been called off for the night to resume tomorrow morning. 

One person 's body has already been found and police said they believe another is still in the water near the Otaki River mouth.

A full-scale search had been underway on Monday evening, and was expected to resume on Tuesday at approximately 9am, after high tide. 

Kapiti Coast residents watch on as the search continues for the second passenger of a boat which flipped in the waters ...
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX

Kapiti Coast residents watch on as the search continues for the second passenger of a boat which flipped in the waters off Otaki.

The search will include two surf lifesaving vessels, two 4WDs, and search and rescue teams.

It is believed the two men were going down the river in a small inflatable boat with oars and found themselves in a patch of rapidly-flowing water near the mouth.

They jumped out but were pushed further, ending up in the sea.

The scene at the mouth of the Otaki River where emergency services are searching for a second passenger after a small ...
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX NZ

The scene at the mouth of the Otaki River where emergency services are searching for a second passenger after a small boat flipped in the water.

A member of the public witnessed two people in trouble before contacting police.

Lifesavers, police, and a helicopter crew were called in to help with the sea rescue at 1.40pm on Monday.

At 3.30pm, Police said they had recovered the body of a middle-aged man. His next-of-kin have been informed.

Lily Christian

Large swell at Raumati south, Kapiti with some hitting the windows of a house.

Police search and rescue incident controller Gareth Hughes said the water search was suspended at 7pm by rough conditions but Land Search and Rescue teams would continue to search the shoreline on foot until late Monday evening.

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"Police are working to notify next of kin of the man found earlier today and our thoughts are with the family. It is believed he was a local man," Hughes said.

Locals who were gathered just north of the river mouth on Monday said the area was a popular fishing and kayaking spot.

A Jetski involved in the search for a second person after one died in waters off Otaki patrols areas around the river mouth.
Monique Ford

A Jetski involved in the search for a second person after one died in waters off Otaki patrols areas around the river mouth.

The river mouth was "forever changing," one Otaki resident said.

Several locals said the sea was far choppier than usual and the river was flowing rapidly when the men got in trouble.

The river had a very large tidal variation, and could be sometimes be treacherous, one man said.

At least one of the boating victims, who locals thought were either in their 50s or 60s, was paddling with an oar.

Two ambulances arrived near the scene about 4pm and another was seen heading away.

A rescue helicopter was searching the area above choppy seas and was mostly hovering over a spot just south of the river mouth. In the same area, rescue boats have been travelling back and forth.

Police, Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter, Surf Like Saving, Kapiti Coastguard and Manawatu Coastguard were all involved in the search for the second person.

MetSevice released a warning about gale force winds and four metre swells on the Kapiti Coast on Sunday.

Meteorologist Melissa Roux said that although the wind died down on Monday to maximum gusts of 41kmh, three-metre high swells had been seen on the coast.

Low tide at the Otaki River entrance was at 1.15pm and high tide was at 7.18pm.

 - Stuff

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