30 Dec 2008

Search continues for missing boat

8:01 am on 30 December 2008

An RNZAF Orion has been unable to find a boat with five people aboard missing in the western Bay of Plenty overnight.

The Rescue Coordination Centre says the Orion covered an area of approximately 540 square km. An aircraft from Taupo is taking over the search on Tuesday.

Two adults, two teenagers and a child set off from Maketu at 8.30am on Monday on a snorkelling trip to Motunau Island. A text message was sent to the skipper's wife just before 1.30pm that they were lost at sea.

They were in a 5.5m fibreglass recreational vessel.

Weather in the area on Tuesday is poor, with rough seas and limited visibility.

The Tauranga Volunteer Coastguard says there has been no contact with the craft other than the initial text message.