Posted by on 06/01/2014
The body of fisherman Peato Samele Ilalio, missing in the Kauri Point area since January 2 after he was dragged into deep water by a stingray has been recovered.
The Police Dive Squad located Ilalio's body when the Navy were conducting a sonar search of the Kauri Point area.
Mr. LlalioÂ was last seen jumping off the Kauri Point wharf near Katikati to retrieve a fishing rod after hooking a stingray.Â The animal towed him 200m from the jetty where he got into difficulty and disappeared from view in the deep water.
The fishing rod was later found by locals with a 'medium sized' stingray still on the line.
Police spent three days searching for Mr. Ilalio with the support ofÂ the Navy, the Waihi Beach Coastguard,Â Waihi Beach Surf Club, the TrustpowerÂ TECT Rescue helicopter, Tauranga Harbour Warden, Tauranga Land SearchÂ and RescueÂ and the public.
His family, including his wife, maintained a vigil at the Kauri Point Jetty.
Ilalio is father to a young daughter.
The family have asked to pass on their sincere thanks to all who helped with theÂ search to bring their loved one back to them.
Sergeant Craig Madden of the Police Search and Rescue thankedÂ all the volunteer groups which assisted in the three day search.
The matter has now been referred to the coroner.