A body found off a Coromandel Peninsula beach last evening
may be that of a boatie missing since last month.
Waikato Police Search and Rescue coordinator Constable Dave
Pitchford said a member of the public rang 111 to report what
looked like a body 200m off the shore in front of the
Whiritoa Surf Life Saving Club about 5.25pm.
"With the assistance of the Whiritoa Surf Club and Whangamata
Coastguard the body was recovered and taken to Waikato
Hospital where forensic examinations will begin to help us
identify who this person is," Mr Pitchford said.
Authorities were keeping an open mind about whether the body
was that of Tim Mair, the 52-year-old Katikati man missing
since his boat capsized off Bowentown on 28 January.
Mr Pitchford acknowledged the assistance provided by
volunteer organisations during the search for Mr Mair.
"During the search we had lifeguards, volunteer firefighters
and search and rescue staff as well as coastguard and mine
rescue personnel all working to assist police," he said.
"Then last night, thanks to a call from the public a number
of volunteers mobilised again to assist police in the body
recovery. These often unsung heroes are repeatedly giving of
their time to the benefit of their wider communities and from
a police perspective their efforts are very appreciated."