10 May 2011

Search for missing people off Kiribati will resume this morning

7:11 am on 10 May 2011

The search for two teenagers and four children, missing off Kiribati since Friday, will resume later this morning.

A boat and a New Zealand Airforce Orion have been scouring an area of a thousand square kilometres off the Tarawa Islands, using radar, after a reported sighting of an empty canoe.

The group of two 19 year old men and four girls, aged 8, 9, 12 and 14, were in a canoe which was towing a smaller dinghy, and is believed to have drifted into the open ocean from a lagoon.

A spokesman from the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Keith Allen, says hope has not been lost, as the dinghy has not yet been found.

The Centre says the Orion will be available today, and the search will be extended.