Girl found but boatie still missing on Manukau Harbour
The search for a man missing in Manukau Harbour has been suspended for the night, as police interview an 8-year-old girl who was rescued after the boating tragedy.
The vessel the pair were in was recovered on Thursday afternoon, but there was still no sign of the missing man.
An alert was raised late on Wednesday afternoon after an empty 12 foot aluminium boat was found adrift on the high tide.
Police, coastguard and a hovercraft from airport crash rescue conducted a search and found an eight-year-old girl treading water around 7.30pm.
* Police search for missing man in Waitemata Harbour, Auckland
* Police call off water search for man missing in Hunua Falls, Auckland
* Woman stuck in mud at Auckland estuary
* Man and his dog freed from mud at Henderson Creek, West Auckland
On Thursday, volunteer skipper Rod Frost said the dinghy was anchored near Auckland Airport.
When his crew reached the vessel it was upturned and partly submerged, but it had not been upturned when local fishermen located it last night, Frost said.
It was unclear who had anchored the boat.
The 12 foot aluminium dingy was in good condition "for its age". When coastguard brought the dinghy ashore at the Weymouth boat ramp, police took it away.
On Thursday, the conditions out at sea hampered the search for the fisherman.
Coastguard northern operations manager Daniel Pearce said: "It's a little bit rougher than yesterday, winds are up to 45km."
Police said they believed the girl was in the water for several hours when she was found on Wednesday night.
It was not clear whether the pair had been wearing life jackets.
The girl was taken to Middlemore hospital and released on Thursday morning to her family.
Police have appointed a Family Liaison Officer to support the family and specialist child interviewers are talking with the girl to find out what happened.
Police said it was still unclear what went wrong.
Coastguard searched on land, sea and from the air until 11pm Wednesday.
The search resumed on Thursday with a combined effort from the coastguard boat, Eagle helicopter and the maritime unit, police search and rescue, coastguard and the airport crash fire hovercraft.
The harbour's low tide came in around 10.45am and was expected to hamper search efforts as the harbour's mudflats are notoriously problematic when exposed.
In October 2016, a man and his dog were rescued after becoming stuck in mud in the Henderson Creek in West Auckland.
And in January 2015, a woman was pulled to safety after she was stuck in mud for more than an hour in the Okura River, north of Albany.