Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Crews scour rugged Waihi for missing woman

Photo / File
Photo / File

Search teams are scouring an area of rugged coastline near Waihi beach for a 79-year-old woman who has been missing for five days.

Police, the Coastguard, Trustpower Rescue Helicopter and members of LandSAR have been searching the area around Bowentown, Waihi Beach and Matakana Island for Whangamata resident Alison Philip.

A team of 60 searchers were out until 10pm last night.

This morning, Newmont Waihi Gold's Mine Rescue Squad were also called in.

Sergeant Aaron Fraser of Waihi police said Ms Philip lived alone and her disappearance was out of character.

Newmont spokesman Kit Wilson said the company's mine rescue team was placed on standby last night.

"The reason for that was in case the helicopter found the person in an area which was not easily accessible.

"This morning at 8 'o clock, seven members of our mine rescue team were called out."

They had been split between various rescue teams, he said.

Mr Kit was unable to say whether the search effort had turned to a recovery mission.

Ms Philip's silver Honda Accord was found at Bowentown Domain on Tuesday.

Anyone with information should contact Waihi Police on 07 863 8179.

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