Sealord searching Pacific Ocean after crew member falls overboard

Sealord has confirmed a search for a crew member is underway in the Pacific Ocean.

The search is being carried out off the coast of the southern North Island, near Cape Palliser.

Mid-morning on Thursday, crew onboard the Otakou fishing vessel became aware a crew member did not report for duty.

A search immediately began and authorities were notified.

The crew member was not on active duty at the time of disappearance, and the reason for their disappearance is not yet known.

The search involves the Otakou; Search & Rescue, including a helicopter; and other vessels in the area. Weather conditions in the area are fair but predicted to deteriorate on Wednesday.

Sealord is making efforts to notify next of kin.

According to a statement, all other crew are accounted for, but very concerned for the safety of their team member.