Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Mystery surrounds disappearance of Kiwi man after Perth night out

Western Australia police are searching for missing 37-year-old Sean David Mitchell. Photo / Supplied
Western Australia police are searching for missing 37-year-old Sean David Mitchell. Photo / Supplied

Western Australian police say they're keeping an open mind about the disappearance of a Kiwi man who has been missing for more than a week.

Sean David Mitchell, 37, of Rotorua, was last spoken to by a friend when he told her he was about to board a yacht moored on the Swan River near the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on Friday May 20.

He was earlier seen drinking with friends at a beer cafe in Perth about 5pm.Friends of Mr Mitchell have since set up a Facebook page - Help Us Find Sean Mitchell - pleading for information as to his whereabouts.

It is believed Mr Mitchell used his Smart Rider card to board public transport at 9pm, but he did not tag off.

An hour later he called a friend and spoke to her about going on another friend's yacht moored on the Swan River.

The friend has confirmed he got on the yacht and then used their dinghy to head back to shore but hasn't been seen since.

The next day, Saturday, a member of the public told police he had found a bag belonging to Mitchell, with some of his belongings still inside, in the Swan River at Blackwall Reach in Bicton.

His friends were today heading to Woodman Point Reserve to search for any new clues.

Mr Mitchell is described as being of medium build with fair skin, red hair and blue eyes.

Sean Mitchell. Photo / Supplied
Sean Mitchell. Photo / Supplied

Police want to speak to the friends Mr Mitchell was drinking with the night he disappeared, and anyone who may know where he is.

Western Australia police spokesman Adam Bouwer told the Herald this afternoon officers are still searching on the shore, while water police are continuing their search from the water.

"They actually have got to the point now where they're waiting to see what happens and whether there's any developments that can lead their investigation in a particular direction because not much has turned up as yet, there's been no fresh leads or anything like that. There's nothing directly to suspect that there's any foul play involved at this stage."

He may well have even made it onto land and gone somewhere else, we're really not sure, but you'd expect that if he was around that he may have seen his name being mentioned by this stage.

"The particular spot where he is guessed to have left there wouldn't be serious currents or tides ordinarily, but the day it's believed he was out there was a fairly serious storm and they reckon the river itself was really choppy and boats wouldn't go out there even then, so weather conditions weren't great that day."

The yacht and dinghy had been forensically examined but had not uncovered any clues as to his whereabouts.

Perth Now reported half a dozen boats took part in the search yesterday.

Anyone with information can phone Western Australia police on +61 8 9351 0699.

- NZ Herald

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