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Whakaari / White Island recovery operation

"Whakaari / White Island recovery operation"


Statement from Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement

Tomorrow morning we have a plan, the resources and the capability to the recover the bodies on Whakaari / White Island.

The plan is contingent on a number of risk factors which will be assessed at the time.

These factors include the conditions on the island and the weather.

Tomorrow morning New Zealand Defence Force assets and people with specialist capabilities from Defence, Police and other agencies will undertake the operation.

Returning the bodies on the island to their loved ones remains our focus.

We have the right people with the right skills and the right equipment.

We will make every effort to recover all of the bodies however our plan is subject to things beyond our control such as the island and the weather.

A lot has to go right for us tomorrow to make this work.

There is no zero risk option in regard to the plan but we have carefully considered it.

We don’t expect the risk to change tonight or tomorrow but we have planned for it.

We will provide updates on tomorrow’s recovery operation as they come to hand.

Commissioner Mike Bush has returned from overseas and will be in Whakatane tomorrow.

ENDS

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