Home /  News /  New Zealand

Names Of Indians Missing In Northland Released

Sarath Kumar (left) Ferzil Babu (right). Photo: Facebook/NZ Herald

The two missing Indian Healthcare workers, who went fishing in Northland have been identified Sarath Kumar, 37, and Ferzil Babu, 34, New Zealand Herald reported.

The duo was fishing at Taiharuru, Whangārei Heads, at a spot known as the Gap on Wednesday evening. Emergency services were alerted around midnight after the pair failed to return home as expected by 11pm.

Kumar's body was found in the water on Friday by the police dive squad. However, the search continues for Babu.

A police spokesperson mentioned on Sunday that the search, now including the shoreline, was ongoing with the assistance of a drone.

Poor marine weather forecasts have complicated search efforts, with easterly swells hindering operations on the water, according to a police statement.

An extensive search involving multiple agencies was conducted over the weekend, but the missing Indian was not located. The Police, along with other agencies, are closely monitoring weather forecasts and will escalate search efforts on the water when conditions improve.

Rabin Ranji, secretary of the Whangārei Malayalee Association, expressed shock over the incident, noting it was the first time the community had experienced such a tragedy. The association had appealed for support and donations in a Facebook post.

Kumar, a registered nurse in the Whangārei Emergency Department, had only been living in Whangārei for two months after migrating to New Zealand in late 2023. He leaves behind a wife and a 5-year-old daughter.



Babu moved to New Zealand after marrying his wife in January 2023. The couple welcomed a son six months ago.

The families of the deceased Indians are grateful for the support and efforts of the police and search and rescue teams. A police liaison officer has been in constant touch with the association and the families.

A Givealittle page has been set up to assist the families with expenses and repatriation. The search for Babu initially involved police search and rescue, a police Eagle helicopter, and LandSar volunteers. The national police dive squad and other agencies have since joined the operation.

Hapū have placed a rāhui (prohibited access) around the Gap for at least five days.

To donate to the families of Sarath Kumar and Ferzil Babu, visit the Givealittle page.

Related Posts