17 Aug 2011

Prospects for missing boatie slim - police

10:45 pm on 17 August 2011

Police leading the search for a missing boatie near Auckland say hope is fading of finding him alive.

The man was fishing from a 6m aluminium launch, with four others, when the boat capsized in the Hauraki Gulf on Tuesday afternoon.

The others managed to swim several kilometres to safety on Motutara Island, and were picked up by a Westpac helicopter at 10am on Wednesday morning.

The man struck out on his own and hasn't been seen since.

His four companions have been treated for hypothermia.

The officer in charge of the search, Inspector Mark Hall, says the chances of finding the 35-year-old alive are slim.

Inspector Hall says searchers have found his clothing and lifejacket in the water.

The crews of eight search and rescue boats and two helicopters spent the day searching the Gulf for the man. The search has been suspended for the night.