A body found in the ocean off a Coromandel Peninsula beach yesterday may be that of a boatie missing since last month.

Waikato Police Search and Rescue coordinator, Constable Dave Pitchford, said a member of the public rang 111 to report what looked like a body 200m off the shore in front of the Whiritoa Surf Life Saving Club about 5.25pm.

"With the assistance of the Whiritoa Surf Club and Whangamata Coastguard the body was recovered and taken to Waikato Hospital where forensic examinations will begin to help us identify who this person is," Mr Pitchford said.

"At this point we are keeping an open mind in relation to the identity of the person who's body was found and are keeping an open mind in relation to if this person maybe a 52-year-old Katikati man missing since his boat capsized off Bowentown on 28 January."


Mr Pitchford said acknowledged the assistance provided by volunteer organisations during the search for the missing man.

"During the search we had lifeguards, volunteer fire-fighters and search and rescue staff as well as coastguard and mine rescue personnel all working to assist police in the search," he said.

"Then last night, thanks to a call from the public a number of volunteers mobilised again to assist police in the body recovery. These often unsung heroes are repeatedly giving of their time to the benefit of their wider communities and from a police perspective their efforts are very appreciated."

- nzherald.co.nz