21 May 2011

Cook Islands police investigate disapperance of a man following a boat trip

9:43 am on 21 May 2011

The disappearance of a Cook Islands man presumed drowned was not noticed by others on a sailing vessel for eleven hours.

Captain of the vessel Kwai, Kim Smith says no one realised the Rarotongan man was missing as the boat travelled north towards Pukapuka on Saturday.

The New Zealand Defence Force Orion was involved in the search but was called off after sixty hours.

Cook Islands news reports the missing man, Manuela Fortes has a wife and three children and was travelling to Pukapuka to help build a cyclone shelter.

Cook Islands police are investigating the incident.