Weather keeps divers from K-Cee search

23:48, May 15 2012

Police divers were unable to search an area where the wheelhouse of capsized crayfishing vessel the K-Cee was found last week, police say.

Western Southland sub-area commander Cynthia Fairley, of Winton, said yesterday poor weather meant the dive squad, which this week returned to Doubtful Sound, was unable to search the site where wreckage of the boat, which sank off the coast of Secretary Island this month, was found.

The two men aboard the vessel, skipper Bruce Gordon, of Te Anau, and crewman Darren Allen, of Wairio, have not been found.

During the official search for the K-Cee, a damaged section of the vessel's bow, two wooden floorboards from the dinghy, the bladder from the liferaft, and the unactivated emergency locator beacon were found.

The official search moved into a limited continuous phase after four days of searching, but the wheelhouse of the capsized vessel was found by three paua divers, friends of Mr Gordon, late last week.

On Monday there was an ocean swell which hindered the prospect of diving, and yesterday sea conditions had worsened, which meant diving was not possible, Ms Fairley said.

With bad weather conditions predicted for Fiordland over the coming days, the dive squad was expected to return to Wellington last night or early today. It was not known when or if the squad would be able to return to complete a dive when weather settled, she said.

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The Southland Times