Blake Sinclair. Photo supplied
The family of missing teenager Blake Sinclair will carry
out their own private search of the Clutha River after the
official search was scaled down, police say.
The 18-year-old was being towed behind a boat on a kneeboard
when he fell off and failed to resurface on Saturday.
Upwards of 100 volunteers, dozens of boats, the police
national dive squad and a helicopter have been involved with
Police said today the search would be scaled down.
A team of four jetboats would search tomorrow along the
riverbank near where Blake was last seen.
His family, who today spoke of a boy with "a youthful twinkle
in his eye", also planned to continue a private search.
Blake's parents, Raewyn and Mark Sinclair, issued a statement
in which they spoke of a young man with a passion for the
outdoors who was loved by his extended family.
"Our son Blake loved the outdoors and all aspects of spending
time in the outdoors with family and friends - including
hunting, fishing, diving, boating and trail-bike riding.
"Blake grew up enjoying jet-boating on weekends, family
holidays out and around South Otago and in the Southern Lakes
region, and family boating holidays on the West Coast.
He also loved visiting Stewart Island where he would fish,
dive and hunt, with family and friends, the statement said.
"Blake and his brother, Logan, loved to spend their time
sharing their interests in the outdoors, mixing with friends,
or being with family at home."
He was a "great boy with a very friendly manner and a dry
sense of humour".
"He wasn't one to get into trouble but he had a youthful
twinkle in his eye. He was confident in his own decision
making and ability. He wasn't one for sitting down and not
giving anything a go.
"He would take an opportunity, consider it and grab it with
Recently Blake had been working with a relative as a fencing
contractor in and around South Otago, but was looking to
eventually head home to the family farm.
He attended school at Clutha Valley Primary School and South
Otago High School.
"Blake was loved by his entire extended family," his parents
The family expressed their gratitude to the volunteers and
emergency services who had tried to find Blake.
- Matthew Theunissen of APNZ