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Search for missing White Island suspended

Two Navy RHIBs deploying in the search area when the search first began. Photo: NZDF.

The search for the two missing victims of the Whakaari / White Island eruption has been suspended.

This decision follows extensive shoreline and substantial aerial searches from east of White Island to north of Cape Runaway, says Bay of Plenty District Commander, Superintendent Andy McGregor.

“Sadly no further items of significance have been located. The families of the two missing people have been informed of this decision.

“Police remain ready to respond if new information comes to light.”

The two people who are still officially listed as missing are 40-year-old tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman and 17-year-old Australian tourist Winona Langford. Police say they presumed their bodies have been washed out to sea.

The death toll from the eruption has risen to 17 with another victim dying in Middlemore Hospital on Sunday evening - not counting the two missing victims.

Chief medical officer at Counties Manukau DHB Dr Peter Watson told Checkpoint the patient was a foreign national.

There are still considerable pressures on New Zealand's burns units and hospitals, with 14 patients in centres across New Zealand.

Peter says yesterday it was still very hard for patients, their families and staff two weeks on from the deadly eruption.

Additional reporting RNZ.

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