A search for a boat off the coast of Woodend Beach has not resumed this morning, and authorities hope the three boaties are home safe.
The Rescue Co-ordination Centre received a call about 4.30pm yesterday from a boat 2km off the coast of Woodend Beach, near Kaiapoi.
The Waimakariri-Ashley Coastguard and Westpac Rescue Helicopter spent about three hours searching for the boat.
The search extended about 7km from the shore, but did not turn up any sign of the boat. The searchers were stood down about 8.30pm.
Simon Duncan, general manager for Garden City Helicopters which operates the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, said if the boat had sunk there would be visible wreckage.
Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand spokesman Steve Rendle said the call was not a mayday call. Instead, the boaties had alerted the RCCNZ that they had engine problems and might need assistance.
He said the boaties might have managed to get their engine started again and gone home without alerting the authorities.
The search has been suspended pending further information, such as a report of missing people.
Rendle said if the boaties were safe they should contact police or the RCCNZ.
- © Fairfax NZ News