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Full-Scale Search For Indian Who Went Missing Over A Week Ago

Another full-scale search for Saturday is being planned by police for a fisherman that went missing more than a week ago near Whangārei Heads.

Two men were reported missing on the evening of 1 May after going fishing from rocks at The Gap - a popular, but sometimes treacherous, fishing spot at Taiharuru.

One body was recovered two days later following an extensive search by the Police National Dive Squad.

Senior sergeant Cliff Metcalfe said Search and Rescue, LandSAR volunteers, Coastguard, a plane and drones would be deployed on Saturday in a search area stretching from Ngunguru Sandspit to Ocean Beach.

If he was not found on Saturday the search would continue on Sunday using drones, Metcalfe said.

Searchers were hoping the current easterly conditions would bring him ashore so he could be returned to his family.

Waves pound through The Gap in the aftermath of 2015's Cyclone Pam.

The Gap, at Taiharuru, is a popular rock fishing spot near Whangārei Heads that can be treacherous in high seas. Photo: Supplied/Cliff House

Both men were members of the Malayalee community from the south Indian state of Kerala, who had moved to New Zealand last year.

They have been named by the Whangārei Malayalee Association as Sarath Kumar, 37, and Ferzil Babu, 34.

Kumar, who is survived by his wife and five-year-old daughter, started work as a registered nurse in Whangārei Hospital's emergency department in March this year.

His friend Babu, whose body has yet to be found, is survived by his wife and six-month-old son.

A Givealittle page set up by the Whangārei Malayalee Association, to help the families with funeral, repatriation and other costs, had raised just under $100,000 as of Thursday afternoon.



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