Sonar search for man continues

A sonar reading police thought was the body of a missing man in Wellington harbour turned out to be a tree stump.

Upper Hutt man Uikilifi Peniamina, 49, was knocked overboard in rough waters on Sunday afternoon, near the mouth of the Hutt River, Wellington maritime police senior launch master Barry Hart said.

The navy's remote sonar torpedo with GPS abilities yesterday scoured an area of the harbour floor, near the river mouth, turning up one object of interest, which police divers went to inspect last night.

The object turned out to be a tree stump.

Two sonar torpedoes were in the harbour today, widening the search area.

Hart was ''full of optimism'' that Peniamina's body would be found.

The water around the river mouth was surprisingly free of debris, he said.

The Dominion Post