Yesterday marked three years to the day that Marlborough Man, William Kerry Blair (Kerry) was last seen. Today also marks three years since the Police lead Operation Erie, (Search and Rescue operation name for the Search for Kerry).
Despite being last seen at approx. 4PM Saturday March the 8th 2014, Kerry was reported missing, to police approx. 11:20AM on Sunday March the 9th 2014 by his Flatmate / Co-worker (Who due to legal reasons can't be named). He was reported missing from the Marlborough Sounds Location (again due to legal reasons can't be named). Search and rescue operation began from this point.
The family say the process and the way things went gets murky from this point.
Kerry's Son, tells us he always had trouble getting Information from Police, and often if Information was passed on it was WRONG.
The family still have numerous questions of which haven't been answered and are awaiting the Coroner to release his findings.
Kerry's Son, also said that "there was little to no support by police or anyone else after the Vessel Erie was located and no one was onboard some 9 Days later". So they were struggling with getting information and found a lack of support. "Everything we (the family) has done has been on our own bat, and are grateful for having the legal services of Allister Davis, Without Allister's help and advice, we would likely not of been able to gain and do as much as we have".
Kerry's Son, considers there are some very serious flaws in the way a Search and Rescue operation is conducted, in particular, the one for his father. "Communication should never be a barrier in these situations, although it was in Kerry's case. We are living in the 21st century, a nation with a love for the water and the Ocean. We rely extremely heavily on the marine sector, for Trade, Employment, Tourism, Recreation and more. And to have such a third world Search and Rescue process, which ultimately requires a distress message being sent. And if everything fails and no one can get to an EPIRB Locater Beacon then it becomes extremely difficult for us to mount a search".
New Zealand has an extremely effective and efficient Defence Force, despite fairly limited in Resources. Dylan Blair, Kerry's Son, believes "another in between agency is required. This would be able to assist in the domestic duties of the Navy, but also work closely with the Navy, Army, and Airforce if and when needed, with direct contact". This Dylan believes "would improve the Search and Rescue process". Dylan believes, Police should possibly still play a role when needed to gather information, but thinks they shouldn't be making key decisions. "They don't deal with the situations often enough (With the exception of the Maritime Units in Wellington and Auckland)"
We have some Navy vessels which would be ideal for dealing with domestic duties only which are tied up at the wharf and due to resource restraints haven't been to sea for years. "We could utilise the equipment the Government already has to create an effective in-between National Coastguard / Navy Joint Venture, for dealing with domestic duties, ie fisheries management, search and rescue, border control, interception of vessels.
Ultimately if a vessel can leave and not be searched for then our borders are at risk as the reverse can happen.
Dylan tells us "The family has gone through a lot of stress and heartache because of the fact Kerry went Missing, but this is increased due to the process, and that this could happen to anyone at any time. We need to learn from the flaws, and fix them, not try and hide them. We can always improve processes and procedures, but we can't always bring back someone who is missing, We need to minimalize if not eliminate the risk of someone becoming missing altogether like this. Someone must know more, you don't just vanish like that."
Dylan believes the phrase "Could well return" is a feeble excuse, especially on water based incidents. And all cases false or genuine should be treated as if there is Distress, especially if out of character, no contact, etc.
The family of William Kerry Blair would be grateful for any information that can either assist with the return of William Kerry Blair, or to piece together whatever happened to him.
Dylan has approached a Psychic Medium, who has provided some insight into the disappearance but hasn't done a full analysis. Initial comments are along the lines of:
Kerry, Hit over the head or hit his Head,
Kerry's Body is in water within sight of the area he disappeared from,
The area has been used for Drug and Weapons smuggling, although Kerry wasn't involved.
Published by B McKenzie, Christchurch. Image Supplied.