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Expedition Team Land on Raoul

21 March 2006

Expedition Team Land on Raoul

The vessel Brave Heart arrived at Raoul this morning at day break and the Department of Conservation, police and GNS Science expedition team have landed on the island.

The volcanologists, Michael Rosenberg and Craig Miller, reported that no sign of any volcanic activity could be seen from the boat and when they reached the safe landing area at Fishing Rock, no seismic tremors could be felt, said Department of Conservation Warkworth Area Manager Rolien Elliot.

“On this basis the team proceeded to the safe area near the DOC field base where the volcanologists will check the seismic instruments.”

“The team will stay in the safe area until the Airforce Orion has made its flight this morning and given their assessment of volcanic activity from the crater and eruption area.”

Ms Elliot said that the team would wait for advice from GNS Science volcanologists before moving from the safe area, and the police would make decisions on any search and recovery activities for missing DOC staff member Mark Kearney once a fuller picture of the status volcanic activity was known.

The people aboard the Heritage Expedition vessel Spirit of Enderby, presently standing off Raoul, were understandably keen to get ashore, said Ms Elliot.

“We appreciate their patience and cooperation with the department’s request not to land and will be looking at the possibility of them landing once we’ve had confirmation from GNS Science that it is safe to do so.”

The Airforce Orion P3K aircraft is due to fly over the island at about 11.30 am this morning. They will report back their findings to the scientists on the island, who will then make their final assessment. The GNS Science team will then advise whether it is safe to move to other areas on the island.


ENDS

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