13 May 2011

Search for missing i-Kiribati called off

6:13 pm on 13 May 2011

The United States Coastguard has called off the search for six young people who went missing off the coast of Kiribati a week ago.

The group, which includes two 19-year-old boys and four girls aged eight, nine, 12 and 14, set out on a three-metre canoe towing a smaller dinghy to collect palm leaves, and are thought to have drifted out to sea.

The coastguard says a Hercules aircraft covered about 16,000 square kilometers in three days of searching.

It says the search has been suspended pending any further developments.