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Kiribati authorities confirm more than 80 on sunken ferry

Kiribati authorities confirm more than 80 on sunken ferry

31 January 2018 (12:55pm)

Kiribati authorities have confirmed that about 80 passengers plus crew of likely about five were on the ferry Butiraoi that sank on January 18.

Seven survivors were rescued on January 28 and the search continues for a life raft that was launched from the sinking ferry. The life raft is designed for 25 people but more can be squeezed in uncomfortably.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is supporting RCC Nadi in Fiji, which is leading the search, and the Kiribati authorities. Kiribati is in Fiji’s search and rescue area.

RCCNZ Watch Leader, Neville Blakemore, said an RNZAF P-3 Orion had been searching for four days and its crew are resting today and doing any necessary work on the aircraft.

Mr Blakemore said three further aircraft, from the RAAF, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the United States Coast Guard, joined the search more recently and are continuing today.


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