ON AIR: Sportstalk

7p.m. - 8p.m.

Search called off for two missing Southland fishermen

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Friday, 8 February 2019, 3:53p.m.
Search and Rescue teams spent almost two weeks looking for the two fishermen missing off Slope Point. Photo / Ben Waterworth
Search and Rescue teams spent almost two weeks looking for the two fishermen missing off Slope Point. Photo / Ben Waterworth

The search for two missing fishermen at Slope Point near Bluff has been stood down today after unsuccessful searches of the coastline.

Shaun Orchard, 23 and Hendrix Kamo, 28, went missing on January 27.

An alarm was raised by people nearby around 4.20pm after the two men appeared to have been swept off rocks.

Today police announced that after almost two weeks of searches, they have made the decision to withdraw the formal search teams.

"Yesterday 80 people conducted a coast line search between Waipapa Point and Waikawa Harbour," Detective Sergeant Dave Kennelly said.

"Unfortunately the search was not successful and the decision has been made to withdraw the formal search teams.

"If new information comes to our attention, Police will follow up, however Search and Rescue teams have been stood down as of today."

Police are continuing to provide support to the families of the missing fishermen.

"We offer our condolences to their families and friends at this difficult time," Kennelly said.

Police also acknowledged and thanked the volunteers and staff who have been involved in the search to date.

"A large number of water craft were deployed including rescue helicopters, swimmers, Coastguard and the Bluff Harbour pilot vessel the Takitimu," Kennelly said.

Hendrix Kamo has been described as
Hendrix Kamo has been described as "strong, wiry and energetic". Photo / Dairy NZ

"We also wish to thank the Catlins water rescue teams, and the southern regional LandSAR groups.

"Police would also like to acknowledge the Slope Point community for their assistance in this operation, and the Tokonui LandSAR Management Team.

"Although we appreciate these teams for their commitment and dedication to finding these two men, we are obviously disappointed that we cannot bring closure to the families of Mr Orchard and Mr Kamo."

The matter will 1be referred to the coroner.

Last week, Honorine Orchard, the mother of Shaun Orchard, of Lumsden, commended search crews for their extended search for the pair, but said she did not wish to say anything more about her son's disappearance.

"Unfortunately, the sea has not returned him at this stage," she said.

Earlier in the week a family friend of Hendrix Kamo told the Otago Daily Times Kamo's partner had only recently given birth to their second child.

The young father from Riversdale was described by his family friend as "strong, wiry and energetic", and always willing to help people out.

The friend said Kamo was a keen river and ocean fisherman, rugby player for the Balfour club, and worked as a dairy farm hand, where his experience and "can-do" attitude were often called upon for a wide range of tasks.

ON AIR: Sportstalk

7p.m. - 8p.m.