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Final body found after Kaipara capsize

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/12/2016

Taulagi Afamasaga with his daughter Amy © NZ Police Taulagi Afamasaga with his daughter Amy The body of the eighth man who drowned after a fishing charter boat capsized in Kaipara Harbour has washed up on a beach.

Police say they they have found the body of 56-year-year-old Taulagi Afamasaga, who has been missing since the 12-metre vessel Francie capsized while crossing the Kaipara bar on November 26, killing eight of the 11 onboard.

He was found on Muriwai Beach at 6am on Monday.

While they had yet to make a formal identification, police believed it was Samoan man Mr Afamasaga, the last of the fishing party members still unaccounted for after the disaster.

Officers visited his family on Monday morning to deliver the news.

The official search for Mr Afamasaga was called off last week, after days of aerial and shoreline searches.

The Francie has yet to be found and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission is still looking into the event.

The other victims included 68-year-old skipper Bill McNatty and a fishing party of Pasifika men Auerua Ngametuaangai Aria, 59, Alipate Manumua, 33, Fred Marsters, 58, Tevita Natisolo Tangi, 31, Fonua Amanu Taufa, 42 and Sunia Ungounga, 43.

A funeral was being held for Mr Marsters in Papatoetoe on Monday.

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