Search for hunter focuses on river

The search for Hokitika farm worker Corey Stephens, who failed to return from a week-long hunting trip at the head of the Wanganui River, near Hari Hari, will concentrate on the lower reaches of the river and the beach.

West Coast search and rescue coordinator Sergeant Sean Judd said a helicopter would sweep the area today, and if that was unsuccessful the search would be called off.

"We intend to go back to the area when the river clears and goes down," Mr Judd said.

Although it was being scaled right back, searchers had some "unfinished business in a few places".

While "not optimistic" of finding the 35-year-old, they could not say conclusively what had happened to him. Two personal items found in the river - a tarpaulin and a distinctive hat - had been positively identified as belonging to the missing hunter.

- Greymouth Star

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