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Search resumes for three missing off New Plymouth

Search resumes for three missing off New Plymouth

A search for three missing off Paritutu Rock near New Plymouth has resumed this morning.

Eleven Year 13 students from Spotswood College were accompanied by two instructors from TOPEC on a rockclimbing exercise at Paritutu Rock around 1:20pm, when three students fell into the water.

Incident Controller Inspector Frank Grant says an instructor entered the water to assist the three students. One of the students clung to rocks and was winched to safety, however the instructor and the remaining two students have not resurfaced.

“This morning we have four inflatable rescue boats (IRBs) searching the Port area. Two rescue vessels are out on the water searching. More than 20 Police personnel and Taranaki Land SAR volunteers have resumed a shoreline search and the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter is also assisting in an aerial search.

Inspector Grant says a Royal New Zealand Air Force Iroquois is en route to New Plymouth to assist and members of the Police National Dive Squad are expected later this morning.

“Sea conditions are still rough with a high swell. We will continue undertaking an extensive and thorough search throughout the course of the day. Hopes of finding the three alive are fading, however we remain optimistic this morning.”

Support is being provided to the families of the three missing as well as staff and students of Spotswood College and TOPEC as they come to terms with what has occurred.


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