Police ask for dinghy sightings in Browns Island investigation

(NZ Police/ supplied)
(NZ Police/ supplied)

Auckland police are looking for information about a dinghy found near Browns Island, as investigations continue into how a woman came to be stranded on the island.

The 38-year-old woman was rescued on Thursday after being stranded for three nights.

She is believed to have lit a fire on the island to attract the attention of passing boats, which spiralled out of control due to winds. Thirty firefighters were deployed to battle the fire.

  • Woman stranded on Browns Island lit fires for help

A white dinghy with an orange-coloured trim, and no oars or motor, was seen floating between Browns Island and Musick Point around 3:30pm on Monday October 31st, the same day the woman says she was left stranded on the island.

After a member of the public reported the dinghy sighting, it was located and towed back to Auckland by Maritime Police.

"Obviously one possible line of enquiry being considered is the woman reached the island by dinghy and it is, in some way, connected to the enquiry," says Detective Sergeant John De Heer. "We also have no indication of who owns the dinghy so we're keen to return it to its owners."

He says the woman has recovered from her experience, and it is too early to say whether charges may result from the fire.

Police want anyone with more information about the dinghy to report it to Auckland Crime Squad on 09 302 6557 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.