30 Dec 2008

Another text received from missing boat

12:38 pm on 30 December 2008

Family members of a group of people missing in a boat in the western Bay of Plenty have reported receiving a second text message seeking help.

Five people set off from Maketu at about 8.30am on Monday on a snorkelling trip to Motunau Island.

They sent a text message to the skipper's wife just before 1.30pm saying they were lost at sea.

An RNZAF Orion searched throughout the night without success and an aircraft from Taupo is in the air on Tuesday morning.

The Rescue and Co-ordination Centre says family members have reported receiving a text message believed to be from the boat at about 6am on Tuesday.

But, they say efforts to call and text those on board have been unsuccessful.

Two adults and three boys are aboard the 5.5m fibreglass recreational vessel. The boys are aged 16, 12 and 11.

The Search and Rescue says it's trying to narrow down the area where the text may have come from.

Shoreline search

Tauranga Volunteer Coastguard says surf clubs are making land searches from Waihi Beach south to Pekehina and Matata.

Marine controller Tom Scott also says surf boats are doing localised searches in their areas and Coastguards have returned to search around Motunau Island again.