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French sailing instructor missing - an appeal by his family

by NZ Police/ 21 Mar 03:30 UTC 18 March 2020
Eloi Rolland - French sailing instructor missing in Auckland © Rolland Family

The family of missing sailing coach Eloi Rowland have made an appeal for news of their son. The 18-year-old French national was reported missing to Police a week ago. He is a certified sailing instructor with sailing experience Dart16 catamaran

A statement on behalf of the family of missing French 18-year-old Eloi Jean Rolland:

The news of Eloi’s disappearance worries us greatly and every day that he remains missing only causes us more concern.

Eloi is a calm, kind and curious teenager who loves adventures and enjoys being with friends.

He loves the sea, surf and catamarans.

He also enjoys the beauty of the wilderness and recently found a particular interest in hiking.

Eloi came to New Zealand to study English six months ago and was in regular contact with our family several times a week.

His disappearance is very out of character and we are extremely worried.

He has never run away from home and always stayed in contact with his family.

Recently Eloi became homesick and wanted to return to France and study at university.

He was due to fly back to France this weekend.

We haven’t heard from him since he went missing on March 7th.

We desperately want to know where Eloi is and we urge anyone with information or any sightings of him to please contact Waitemata Police on (09) 839 0697.

We are forever grateful to the New Zealand public for your support and assistance at this very difficult time for all of our family.

The 18-year-old French national was reported missing to Police a week ago.

He is a certified sailing instructor with sailing experience Dart16 catamaran, participated in the Critérium Départemental de l'Hérault in October 2018 with the YCMC club in Carnon and at club regattas in the Baie de Somme in August 2017 and 2019 with the APVC club.

Currently he is licensed at the Carnon club and has made a request to practice as a sailing instructor next summer in France at the Carnon club.

In addition, he holds a national patent issued in May 2019 by civil security in safety and rescue in an aquatic environment.

Detective Senior Sergeant Murray says the last confirmed sighting of Eloi remains at 7.26am on Saturday 7 March at the Fruitvale Road railway station in New Lynn.

Enquiries on Eloi’s mobile phone indicate he was in the area of Piha Road at 9:18am on Saturday 7 March.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marcia Murray says a Search and Rescue team began conducting a search around the Piha Road area yesterday afternoon.

"This search effort has been scaled up today, with the SAR team conducting land-based searches in the Piha area.

"We are urging anyone that lives in the Piha area that may have seen Eloi on Saturday 7 March to contact Police.

"Likewise, we are asking anyone travelling along Piha Road that has dash camera footage from that morning to get in touch with us."

Police are urging anyone who may have seen the teenager to contact us.

"As time passes since the last confirmed sighting of Eloi, our concerns for his wellbeing continue to grow," says Detective Senior Sergeant Murray.

"I would like to acknowledge those members of the public who have contacted Police so far.

We have received a number of calls and we will work through assessing the information provided."

Eloi speaks limited English and is described as 170cms tall and thin build.

He was last seen wearing a blue and white jacket, jeans, and dark sneakers.

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