The search for a person who went missing after an inflatable boat capsized off the Otaki River on the Kapiti Coast has been suspended for the evening.

Police were called to the scene about 1.40pm after a member of the public spotted two people in trouble after their small inflatable boat with oars capsized.

Authorities recovered the body of a middle-aged man shortly afterwards. Police have notified his next of kin. He is believed he is a local.

Emergency crews made up of the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter, Surf Life Saving teams, Kapiti Coastguard and the Manawatu Coastguard were all called out to help in the search for the second person.


The water search was suspended about 7pm due to extremely rough water conditions. A shoreline land search was suspended shortly before 11pm.

A full-scale search will resume about 9am tomorrow, after high tide. It will include the use of two Surf Lifesaving vessels, two 4WDs, and search and rescue teams.

Police praised the work of emergency crews - including local teams from Surf Life Saving and Coastguard - for their efforts.

MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn said there had been swells of more than 3m recorded off the Kapiti Coast today.

Wind conditions were relatively calm with gusts of up to 35km/h recorded at the Paraparaumu Airport.

The sea could still be rough, however, after gusts of up to 118km/h yesterday.