A major search is underway at the Bowentown harbour entrance for a man missing after a boat capsized on the bar, while four children have been rescued.
Emergency services are searching the area around Bowentown Heads at the Northern entrance to the Tauranga Harbour for a 52-year-old, missing after his pleasure craft overturned.
The new Waihi Beach Coastguard boat, Gallagher Rescue, is involved in the search at Bowentown Heads. File picture.
The vessel capsized at about 5pm, however police say the alarm was not raised for several hours, when a passing boat located the overturned vessel with four children clinging to it. The children were taken ashore and are uninjured, however there has been no sign of the man in the boat with them.
The Westpac Recue helicopter is conducting an aerial search of the area, and ground parties are searching the coastline around Bowentown Heads and Matakana Island .
Callers to the 0800 SUNLIVE news hotline report the Waihi Beach Coastguard, surf club inflatable boats, helicopters and ground teams are searching the entrance, harbour, and the surf beaches of Matakana Island .
The Bowentown bar has been moderately rough for the past few days.
From Tanners Point a helicopter with search light has been clearly seen searching across the entrance and out to sea for at least 15 minutes and Mines Rescue personnel are being ferried to Matakana Island by a surf club IRB from the beach at Anzac Bay .
The chopper had earlier searched the tip of the island with its light and then travelled down the inner harbour to almost Kauri Point.
Observers in the area have reported to SunLive that it’s a bright, full moon night, which could aid searchers. Lights are also visible along the shoreline near Anzac Bay and may be those of land based searchers. Flashing lights of emergency services are seen above Anzac Bay.
The coastguard rescue boat is also visible at work around the entrance.
The mishap occurred near low tide, on the first of the incoming. The sea swell range recorded on the Port of Tauranga monitoring system showed 1.5m to 2.2m with a north easterly breeze around 15 knots.
Keep watching SunLive for further developments.
Call 0800 SUNLIVE and tell us what you have seen.