16 Aug 2010

Police divers join Bay of Islands search for man

6:46 pm on 16 August 2010

The police national dive squad has joined the search for a Bay of Islands man thought to have drowned near Russell.

Earl Raison was last seen at a house near the Russell Boating Club on Friday night.

Police believe Mr Raison fell out when he tried to row his dinghy across rough seas and in gale-force winds to the yacht where he lived in Matauwhi Bay.

The 48-year-old's overturned dinghy was found on the shore on Saturday.

Maori who live in the area have placed a tapu, or restriction, on the Matauwhi and Orongo Bay area making them off-limits for fish and shellfish.