Fisherman’s body found; drowned while trying to cross mouth of Motu River

News from NZ Police
A fisherman drowned yesterday afternoon after he saw swept down the Motu River near Whakatane.

Relatives discovered his body about 8.30pm. He had come ashore approximately 150m from the point of the river where he had gone missing.

He has been identified as Benjamin Robert Tekira, aged 41 from Waimana, near Whakatane.

News from NZ Police – 7 January
A search is underway for a fisherman who was swept away as it appears he attempted to cross the Motu river mouth near Whakatane. The man was fishing with a group of friends who are all safe.

Police were notified at approximately 3.50pm and began coordinating a search. Central Helicopters have been involved and the Coastguard are continuing to search for the man without success.

Police are liaising with the man’s friends and his family.

Police remind people about the dangers posed by our waterways. A combination of rain and tropical weather means that river levels and the sea surf are dangerously high. Anyone enjoying the activities our waterways are urged to take every precaution and make sure they are wearing life-jackets.

Earlier news from NZ Police
The big swells in the Bay of Plenty are causing significant dangers for swimmers and boaties with a number of rescues being reported. The public are reminded that swimmers should take extra care and swim between the lifeguard flags, watch out for rips and stay away from isolated areas. The current waves are over 5 feet high and there are numerous rips along the beach causing significant dangers. Boaties are reminded to check the forecast and if in doubt don’t go out; always wear life jackets and tell people were you are going.