5 Jan 2014

Body of missing angler found

6:00 pm on 5 January 2014

The body of a missing angler has been found after a three-day search.

Police say Peato Samele Ilalio was fishing off the wharf at Kauri Point near Katikati, on Thursday, when he jumped into the water to retrieve his fishing rod. They say he was dragged 200 metres through the water by a stingray on the end of his line before disappearing from view.

A Navy dive squad found Mr Ilalio's body on Sunday morning while conducting a sonar search of the area and his death has been referred to the coroner.

Police say both they and Mr Ilalio's family are grateful to everyone involved in the three-day search.

Mr Ilalio is one of four men who drowned while fishing or gathering kai moana over the Christmas holiday period. A fifth man drowned in a bath.