Whakaari / White Island: Search for two missing people underway

12:32 pm on 22 December 2019

Searches are underway again today between Whakaari / White Island and the mainland, for the remaining two people from the eruption nearly two weeks ago.

The Whakaari / White Island mission to recover bodies of the victims.

File photo of the mission to recover bodies of the victims. Photo: NZDF

It's presumed the bodies of 40-year-old tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman and 17-year-old Australian tourist Winona Langford, were washed out to sea.

Police observers, a coordinator and local Coastguard volunteers are involved in today's efforts.

If anyone comes across a body in the water or along the coast, they are urged to call 111 and wait at the location until emergency services arrive.

The eruption on 9 December left 16 people confirmed dead, with the two people still unaccounted for. At the time, 47 people were on the island, many were Australian tourists.

Last week Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway urged tourists to ask adventure companies whether they were registered before booking or using their services.

Not all companies on the island at the time of the eruption were registered as adventure tourism operators, thereby missing out on regular audits.

White Island Tours was the only company registered.

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