Published: Mon, January 29, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

NZDF spots dinghy in search for missing ferry

NZDF spots dinghy in search for missing ferry

Aircraft from Australia and the US are joining the search for survivors from a missing Kiribati ferry that sank with 50 people aboard in the remote Pacific, a navigation safety authority said in a statement Monday.

The survivors had scrambled onto the small wooden dinghy after the ferry they were aboard sank, according to authorities.

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ) says a fishing vessel has been diverted to rescue the people.

The New Zealand authorities have been coordinating the search for the missing ferry, a wooden catamaran.

A New Zealand Air Force Orion plane, which yesterday found seven survivors drifting in a dinghy, is already combing a search area larger than Italy.

The search for a Kiribati ferry that disappeared with 50 people on board is set to resume this morning.

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But it was reported missing on Thursday night and officials from New Zealand and Fiji are now working to find it. The two agencies weren't able to immediately reconcile their differing accounts. The survivors used the radio to tell rescuers they'd managed to get off the ferry when it capsized and climb aboard the dinghy, he said.

"We are doing everything we can to locate this ferry and its passengers", Ashby said.

Commodore Darryn Webb who leads the rescue mission said that no other survivor has been found, at this moment.

The Orion carried out a radar search of 145,000sqkm on Saturday before standing down.

The journey was expected to take two days, but the vessel did not arrive at its destination, and New Zealand search and rescue teams on Friday joined local teams in the search.

Kiribati, a nation of 33 atolls and reefs with a total population of about 110,000, lies 3,460km north-east of Fiji.

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