A search will resume after high tide this morning to look for a second person who is still missing after an inflatable boat capsized in a river on the Kapiti Coast.

Yesterday police were called to the Otaki River about 1.40pm after a member of the public spotted two people in trouble after their small inflatable boat with oars had overturned.

Authorities recovered the body of a middle-aged man shortly afterwards. Police have notified his next of kin. It 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.


Police said a full-scale search was expected to resume at approximately 9am.

It will include the use of two surf lifesaving vessels, two 4WDs, and search and rescue teams.

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

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 yesterday.

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.

In a statement, police asked members of the public to call them immediately if they come across anything on their walks today, such as items washed up on the beach.