This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Item discovered in search for missing Tongan fisherman in NZ

Members of the public living as far north as Lake Ellesmere, also known as Te Waihora are asked to report sighting a grey or blue tarpaulin, blue shorts, and a green plastic dinghy.

Lionati Fotofili

This comes after a blue and white T-shirt was found during the search for a missing Tongan pastor who went missing at a South Canterbury river mouth on December 30.

Leonati Fotofili was reported missing at the mouth of the Ōpihi River after he did not return home from a fishing trip the night before.

The family of the44-year-old Tongan father of two are launching their own intensive search parties, about more than a week after he was last seen. 

“We are continuing with our own search hoping & praying for his safe return”, a spokesperson for the family wrote on Facebook on January 6.

It is understood search efforts involving police, the New Zealand Air Force, coastguard and surf lifesaving has so far failed to find Fotofili, who was also known by the name Lio.

The family and friends’ own searches were announced after it appeared the official search for Fotofili had not resumed.

Fotofili’s community gathered to support his family in their search for him by holding prayer services and sharing online tributes.

 “Prayer is powerful and we know that. We love you Lio. We are all praying from first light until the sun goes down and this will have a good outcome I can feel it in my heart”, a post on Facebook read in Tongan.