Press Release – New Zealand Police
A civilian vessel assisted by the Navy located the wreckage of the missing fishing vessel, Easy Rider, about 2km off the coast of the north-western tip of Stewart Island near the Bishop and Clerks Islands earlier today.Update 3: Stewart Island SAR
A civilian vessel assisted by the Navy located the wreckage of the missing fishing vessel, Easy Rider, about 2km off the coast of the north-western tip of Stewart Island near the Bishop and Clerks Islands earlier today.
A camera from a civilian search vessel, which has a range of 30metres depth, has taken photos of the vessel and the images provide a description that matches the Easy Rider.
Two adult males who were on the boat were located earlier today, deceased, in the search area around the site of the vessel wreckage.
One was found at 12.35pm and the other at 12.55pm. They have been transported back to Invercargill.
A further adult male was found in the search area at around 3pm this afternoon. His body is also being transported back to Invercargill.
The SAR operation has continued today, with 12 vessels conducting a sea grid search and a ground search party examining the foreshore closest to where the wreckage has been found. About 60 personnel in total have been involved. The Navy, Coastguard and private commercial vessels have assisted police.
Debris has continued to surface in the vicinity of the boat’s wreckage.
The search will continue into the early evening today. The Police Dive Squad and a Navy Dive Squad are on route from Wellington and expected to arrive in Invercargill at 7pm this evening with equipment to allow for a deep sea dive to take place.
Police will make an assessment about next steps once the squads arrive and discuss how the search will proceed tomorrow.
Police have been working closely with the families of those who were on the Easy Rider vessel, through iwi liaison officers and Victim Support, to offer them as much support as possible at this difficult time. On behalf of police and the search and rescue team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families.
Release of names
Of the nine people on board the Easy Rider, one has survived and four other deceased people have been found.
A survivor was located yesterday. His name is Dallas Tumoana Reedy (44) of Invercargill.
Another person was found deceased during the search yesterday. His name was Shane Ronald Topi (29) of Invercargill.
The names of the others, some of whom are still missing are:
William Rewai Desmond Karetai (47), of Bluff (skipper)
Paul Jason Fowler-Karetai, of Invercargill (40 )
Odin Karetai of Invercargill (7)
Boe Taikawa Gillies, of Invercargill (28)
John Henry Karetai, of Invercargill (58)
Peter Glen Pekamu-Bloxham (53), of Invercargill
David George Fowler, (50) of Invercargill