Fears are rising for a holidaymaker to the Marlborough Sounds
who fell from a boat into freezing waters in the early hours
The visitor, believed to be aged 46, had been at Furneaux
Lodge playing pool and "having a few beers" with his daughter
and her boyfriend.
Bar staff say the trio said they were going to stay the night
on their 14-metre launch tied to the jetty.
It appeared they then decided to leave the lodge, and were
motoring through Endeavour Inlet - probably bound for the
man's bach at Marine Heads, near Ships Cove - when it was
believed the father fell in about 2am.
He was not wearing a lifejacket, police say.
His daughter and her boyfriend raised the alarm and a search
Police, coastguard, a helicopter and the Straitsman
interisland ferry were involved in the search overnight,
The police dive squad would also help in the search today.
Furneaux Lodge owner Geoff Faulkner, who was staying in
Nelson, was notified by police.
He alerted his general manager, who has been out searching
all night, in what's been described as flat, calm conditions.
However, Mr Faulkner was concerned that the man had not yet
'It's cold water," he told APNZ.
Mr Faulkner said the man - who was not a regular - had been
staying at his bach in the Sounds when the three of them
boated to Furneaux to "play pool and have a few beers."
"It was just a quiet Monday night. I've spoken to the bar
manager. Nothing untoward happened in the night," he said.
"They left at midnight after playing some pool and were going
to stay the night on the boat which was tied at the jetty and
come back up in the morning for breakfast. But they didn't,
they decided to leave obviously."
Asked if alcohol could have been a factor, Mr Faulkner said:
"We don't believe they had that many."
"We're getting the print outs from the bar now. The barman
who walked them down to the boat didn't think they were
"It just looks like an awful tragedy, after deciding to take
the boat out. It's a horrible, terrible thing."