The boat belonging to a fisherman who fell overboard off the Coromandel Peninsula has been found.

Will Fransen, the owner of Betty Gee, was rescued on January 3 after spending nearly 24 hours in the water without a lifejacket.

The boat was missing until today, when it was found at the Raukokore River mouth, south of Waihau Bay on East Cape.

Coromandel’s CFM posted to Facebook this afternoon saying: “Missing Launch Found.

“The launch Betty G which was involved in the drama which saw its skipper spend nearly 24 hours floating off the Coromandel Peninsula east coast – has been found.

“The 12 metre long vessel was located today off East Cape. More details following.”

Fransen had set off on the solo fishing trip aboard his 40-foot boat around 10am on January 2, with the intention of returning the following day.

He had called the Coastguard to let them know the route he’d be trawling on the “nice, sunny” day.

Fransen said he was hooked in a gimbal fishing harness with safety rails on the port and starboard side, which “enclosed” him, however he wasn’t wearing a lifejacket or Personal Locator Beacon when he was yanked off the boat while attempting to reel in a marlin.

“I think the fish lurched and I lifted and the safety rail came out of its position and instantly I just rolled into the water,” he told 1News.

Fransen said he tried to swim back toward the idling boat, but was unable to reach it in time.

He then began pulling himself in using the line the marlin was on when “the line slipped out of my glove”.

“So that’s the end of that and I’m sitting there treading water and the boat’s quietly chugging along,” he said.

Fransen said he spent a lot of time hallucinating, and reflecting on his life and loved ones as he didn’t think he would “make it another night”.

“I knew my chances weren’t very good – I’m usually pretty positive, but I knew my chances weren’t good.”

He described saltwater entering his nose and mouth, which “wasn’t very nice”.

“I shivered through the night, [my] teeth rattled and I thought ‘there’s not much chance of game fishing boats being out in that weather’.”

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