'We can't breathe, eat, sleep or be without you Dad' - family of missing fisherman share their heartbreak as police call off search

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1 NEWS

A four-pack is waiting in the fridge for the man still missing following Saturday's boat tragedy in the Kaipara Harbour, but police have now called off the search for him.

Amy Yerro, daughter of missing man Taulagi "Lagi" Afamasaga, says they have a four-pack waiting in the fridge at home for him.
Source: 1 NEWS

Seven people died in the tragedy, three survived, while the body of 56-year-old Taulagi ‘Lagi’ Afamasaga was not found.

Waitemata Police Inspector Mark Fergus announced this morning that the search for Mr Afamasaga will not continue.

"We have reached the point where there is no further information to support the continuation of an air and land search, and the formal search and rescue operation will be suspended today at midday," he said.

"We have also consulted with specialists, including medical specialists, and sadly we have now well passed the survivability expectations in the conditions."

Mr Afamasaga's family set up a Givealittle page yesterday in memory of their father, which has already received generous donations from the public.

But the family just wants their father to come home.

"We can't breathe, eat, sleep or be without you Dad. You were the man who held our family together, the provider and would do anything for anyone, regardless what the request," his daughter Amy Yerro wrote on the Givealittle page.

"Your four-pack is waiting for you in the fridge. It's our turn to provide for you and we want to return the favour and do something special for you," she wrote.

The family has received kind words of love and support from friends and family on the fund raising page.

"My heart aches for Amy and the family! I can't imagine what you are going through but I pray every day that Taulagi finds his way home to you all. Love and hugs to you all," wrote Sandy Murray.

The decision to formally suspend the Search and Rescue operation was not made lightly, said the police inspector.

"If we receive any new or additional information that could allow us to search the shoreline further by land or air, it will be assessed and we will look to act on it," Mr Fergus said.

Police have spoken with Mr Afamasaga’s family about the search.

"We still hope to be able to return Mr Afamasaga to his family and we continue to support them through this terrible time."

Activity to find the Francie boat is continuing and police believe they have narrowed down the area where the capsize occurred.

"We intend to conduct aerial searches, and - subject to weather conditions - possibly some underwater or sub-surface searching," Mr Fergus said.

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