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Missing boatie told no one his intentions

Missing boatie told no one his intentions

Tasman, 11 March 2014 - Marlborough Police say the missing Erie Bay man William Kerry Blair (known as Kerry) gave no indication of his intentions before leaving on a 9 metre launch about 4pm on Saturday and search for him is like a needle in a haystack.

Police were alerted to his disappearance about midday on Sunday by a female flatmate who works at the same property as Blair in Erie Bay. Both Blair and the woman are both employed to maintain various parts of the property for its owners.

The last know possible sighting of the vessel he left in was near Cape Jackson about 5.30pm on Saturday. Since that time his cell phone has also polled off the top of the South Island on the West Coast side late on Sunday afternoon. No signal has been picked up since.

The vessel is equipped with navigation equipment and a radio. Blair has made no attempt to use either the radio or his cell phone.

On Sunday the Harbourmaster searched Queen Charlotte Sound and regular broadcasts have been made over the marine radio to all vessels to look out for the boat.

Yesterday the Nelson Coastguard searched Tasman Bay to the top of Farewell Spit. Today the Nelson boat has searched the Abel Tasman coastline from Awaroa back to Nelson.

The West Coast Coastguard vessel which was in Nelson travelled back to Greymouth yesterday and searched that route.

Freight vessels travelling along the West Coast were also on the lookout yesterday.

Search coordinator Sergeant Bill Talbot said there a lot of fishing vessels off the West Coast of the South Island and they had all been informed of the boat's disappearance. So far none had seen it.

The 9 metre Senator brand aluminium boat is capable of travelling long distances, depending on the amount of fuel onboard.

Police say the behaviour is out of character. Blair is an experienced seaman and weather and sea conditions have been good.

The aluminium boat called Erie has a hard top which is painted white and it has a blue stripe along the side. It has an inboard diesel engine.

Sergeant Talbot said that without having any indication what Blair's intentions were the potential search area was enormous.

"We don't know if he has been motoring and if so what direction, or drifting, or whether the boat has gone down. Right now it's a needle in a haystack."

Today Police are also investigating whether Blair had discussed any plans with anyone.

Police would like to speak with anyone who has seen this vessel or anyone who has information that may help locate it.

Anyone with information relevant to this search should call Blenheim Police Ph 03 578 5279.

ENDS

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