17 Oct 2012

Two charged with stealing boat: man still missing

9:00 pm on 17 October 2012

Two of the men in a boat that capsized in Tauranga Harbour on Tuesday night have been charged with its theft and will appear in the Tauranga District Court on Friday.

The police say the men, aged 22 and 25, both made it to shore after the boat sank.

Search teams are continuing to look for 23-year-old Shaun Hogarth, who hasn't been seen since the boat capsized, though police say it is possible he made it to shore but has not yet contacted them.

Police are also trying to locate 22-year-old Liam Kane, who made it to shore but then disappeared.

The four men are believed to have been fishing when the small aluminium dinghy sank near Motuhoa Island.

Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair says none of the four were experienced on the water and the weather on Tuesday night was very poor. It's not thought, however, that alcohol was a major factor in the incident.

The boat was found upside down on Wednesday morning by cliffs between Matakana Pt and Tahunamanu Pt, where it appears to have been pushed by wind and the current.

In a written statement, Mr Hogarth's family say they are hoping and praying that he is safe and will be found soon.