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UPDATE: Search and rescue operation

Press Release – New Zealand Police

UPDATE: Search and rescue operation in Marokopa and Kiritehere, Waikato District

Statement to be attributed to Waikato West Area Commander Will Loughrin:

Today Police are making further public appeals for information.

Whereabouts of motorcycles:

Police, as part of the Op Marokopa enquiry phase, are looking to account for any vehicles Tom Phillips has owned in recent times.

We have information to suggest he has owned two motorcycles, a 2004 Honda XR400 and a 2019 Honda CRF50.

Police would now like to account for their whereabouts.

We appreciate this specific appeal for information may lead to speculation the motorcycles could be involved in some way.

This is not the case, however Police need to ensure we explore this line of enquiry and want to hear from anyone who might have seen them or know where they are.

Items of interest:

Police are asking anyone who locates any items, including clothing, that could be relevant to the search along the Marokopa and Kiritehere coastlines, to get in contact.

If you locate an item please photograph it where you found it, take it with you, and contact Police.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the motorcycles or locates items of interest can contact Police on 105 and quote file number:210913/1952.

Successful appeal for information:

Yesterday Police made an appeal asking for people who had been either at Marokopa or Kiritehere Beach’s over the weekend to contact Police.

We have had a positive response and investigators are now speaking with these people to see if they can provide any relevant information.

Search activity update:

The physical search resumed this morning with Surf Life Saving crews from Raglan, and Surf Life Saving Rescue Squads from Taranaki and Omanu Beach, doing sea searches, and Police staff completing ground-based searches.

Conditions have allowed for the Auckland-based Eagle helicopter to return to the area to complete coastline searches.

Police drones are also in use today.

Appeal from the Phillips’ family:

The Phillips’ family is today renewing its request for privacy. While they appreciate the public interest and concern, they respectfully ask media to allow them this time to concentrate on the search efforts for Tom and the children.

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