Family hope another attempt will be made tomorrow to rescue
Marlborough man Kerry Blair, following confirmation his boat
has been found off the coast of Taranaki.
An attempt to secure the vessel and bring it to shore had to
be abandoned in heavy seas yesterday.
Tasman police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said Mr Blair's boat
was spotted 200km off Taranaki by a Royal New Zealand Air
A large oil industry ship equipped to operate in heavy seas
was dispatched to try to reach the boat.
"The ship got to the boat but the seas out there were just
atrocious and there was no way they could secure a line to
it," she said.
They were not able to tell conclusively whether Mr Blair was
still on board the boat. Another attempt would be made when
the weather improved, she said.
Mr Blair, 55, has been missing since Saturday last week when
he launched his 9m aluminium boat, Erie, from the Marlborough
The last sighting was about 5.30pm on Saturday near Cape
Family had raised funds through givealittle.co.nz to put up a
private plane to search for Mr Blair.
The Air Force orion joined the search on Friday and located
the boat on Friday evening.
On the givealittle.co.nz page, family posted that they hoped
a second rescue attempt would be made tomorrow morning.
"In the meantime, we have a private boat and team on standby
More than $15,000 has been donated to help with the search.
Mr Blair's brother, Peter Blair, said he hoped weather would
abate by early tomorrow morning to allow another rescue
They hoped a Navy vessel would be heading out to retrieve Mr
Blair's boat, but if not the family had a private vessel on
Peter Blair said they had a 20m vessel and crew ready to go
out once weather allowed, should the Navy decide not to make
He said it had been incredibly frustrating for family,
particularly Mr Blair's children, to get so close and have
the rescue abandoned.