8 Oct 2010

Three Tokelauan teenagers still missing

7:36 am on 8 October 2010

The search for three Tokelauan teenagers missing at sea has been unsuccessful so far.

The boys, two aged 15 and one aged14, went missing from Atafu Atoll in the early hours of Wednesday in a small aluminium boat.

Geoff Lunt from the Rescue Coordination Centre in New Zealand says an airforce P3 Orien has conducted a thorough aerial search covering over 24,000 square kilometres of ocean.

"There was a possibility that the boys may have taken their boat from Atafu Atoll to Nukunonu. But we weren't sure about that so we asked the P3 Orien to do a search between those two islands based on a boat drifting. And we came up with a search area that allowed the P3 to search."

Geoff Lunt says apart from choppy seas, the weather conditions have been excellent.

The search will be reviewed this morning.