18 Jan 2012

Cooks police say no other vessel involved in case of missing NZ yachtie

1:40 pm on 18 January 2012

Cook Islands police have ruled out the possibility of another vessel's involvement in the case of a missing yachtsman, wanted in New Zealand on sex charges.

The man disappeared from the yacht he was skippering off Rarotonga two weeks ago.

The man, who has name suppression in New Zealand, is wanted on 26 charges and is due to appear in an Auckland court next month.

The Cook Islands News reports officials last heard from the yachtie on the third of January when he complained of heart problems.

John Strickland of the Cook Islands Police says he's aware of rumours the skipper was on his way to South America.

"We have gone to the extent of checking with communications with our telecoms ... radio communications out there for anything to do with any vessel ... within the area in those dates. From what we have gathered so far there has been no reports of any vessels within the vicinity at the time."

Inspector Strickland says four staff are working on the case which now focuses on the missing man's movements in Rarotonga.