4 Jan 2010

Piha search for fisherman called off

1:11 pm on 4 January 2010

The search has been called off for a missing fisherman who fell into the sea while fishing from rocks at Piha Beach in west Auckland.

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand says the 35-year-old was at Dawsons Ledge at the southern end of the beach when he disappeared just before 6pm on Sunday.

The man is now presumed drowned.

Surf Life Saving staff and police searched for three hours on Sunday and resumed a land-based search on Monday morning despite being hampered by bad weather.

However, police have called off the search because there were no signs of a body and the chance of finding it is very slight.

Surf Life Saving says the incident is a reminder for people to wear a life jacket while fishing from rocks.

Two other people have drowned on the same stretch of coast over the past week.