12 Mar 2014

Boatie possibly sighted - police

5:55 pm on 12 March 2014

Police searching for a missing Marlborough boatie are investigating a possible sighting of him on Monday.

William Kerry Blair, 55, disappeared after leaving Erie Bay in the Marlborough Sounds in a 9m alumimium launch, Erie, on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Blair's cell phone was picked up on the west coast of the top of Farewell Spit on Sunday but there has been no phone signal since then.

Search co-ordinator Sergeant Bill Talbot said a new possible sighting of the boat on Monday had been reported, and police were trying to confirm whether it was Mr Blair.

A plane carrying three search and rescue spotters has been searching the coast from Nelson to Westport but there has been no sign of the boat or Mr Blair.

Mr Talbot said that, with no idea of Mr Blair's intentions, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Regular broadcasts are continuing to go out to all vessels on the marine radio asking for sightings of the Erie, which has a hard top, is painted white and has a blue stripe along the side.