14 May 2006, 5:30pm
The search for the three remaining people missing from the 14 metre-fishing vessel Kotuku, which capsized on Saturday afternoon in Foveaux Strait with nine people on board, has been suspended for the day and will resume tomorrow morning.
Search and Rescue Coordination Centre of NZ Mission Controller, Keith Allen, said that an extensive search of Foveaux Strait had been carried out since first light this morning.
“An large area of Foveaux Strait has been intensively searched by helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and upwards of 20 boats”, Mr Allen said.
“A shoreline search of the Muttonbird Islands, near where the vessel capsized, has also been carried out.
“Unfortunately, no further survivors have been located”, Mr Allen said.
During the course of today’s search, two bodies were recovered – one from the sea north of the Muttonbird Islands and one from the shoreline of North Island (part of the Muttonbird group of Islands). One body was recovered yesterday evening.
Three bodies have now been recovered, with three still missing.
A small surface oil slick was also found approximately two kilometres north of the Muttonbird Islands.
Mr Allen said that a Police National Dive team is being brought in from Wellington and will try to locate the vessel tomorrow.Three vessels will remain on standby overnight in the area where the vessel is thought to be located, some two kilometres east of the Muttonbird Islands.
For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318