US adventurer missing in NZ

MYSTERY: Sean D'Epagnier last spoke to his family while he was in Nelson.
MYSTERY: Sean D'Epagnier last spoke to his family while he was in Nelson.

Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of a solo American yachtie last seen in the Nelson region.

The family of Sean D'Epagnier have made contact with the US embassy and police have been making checks with harbourmasters and others, so far to no avail.

Mr D'Epagnier, 26, arrived in New Zealand on his yacht Alexandra in November last year, and last made contact with his family in late May, saying he was in the Motueka area.

Tasman District Council harbourmaster Steve Hainstock said the yacht was distinctive and several people remembered seeing it around that time, but it hadn't been sighted since.

It didn't visit the Nelson Marina.

Police said Mr D'Epagnier had told his family that he intended heading to Fiordland or the Pacific Islands.

They are urging anyone who has seen the yacht or might know Mr D'Epagnier's whereabouts to contact their nearest police station.

The Alexandra is a 40-year-old Bristol yacht measuring 8 metres (27 feet). It's fitted with a number of solar panels and doesn't have an engine.

Mr D'Epagnier is 1.75m tall with blond hair, blue eyes and a full beard.


Nelson