12 May 2011

Kiribati still hopeful in finding six missing at sea

3:16 pm on 12 May 2011

Kiribati Search and Rescue says there's still hope six young people who've been missing since Friday could be alive.

The group are thought to have drifted out to sea after setting out on a canoe, towing a smaller dinghy to collect palm leaves.

Kiribati Search and Rescue Coordinator Captain Omirete Tadureka says he's received no information that the US Coastguard Hercules aircraft searching for the group has made any sightings today.

But he says there's a chance they could have reached safety without it being reported

"We urge the people that if they ever landed on the outer islands that they must report back any findings of these youngsters. So we still have hope that they are still out there, and one other possibility is that they might have been discovered by some fishing boats in our area."

Captain Omirete Tadureka says conditions are good for the search today which is continuing to the northeast of Tarawa.