Search for missing to resume at dawn
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 10:46p.m.
By Janika ter Ellen
Police have suspended the search for three people missing off the coast of New Plymouth and will resume at dawn tomorrow.
Two high school students from Taranaki's Spotswood College and their instructor fell into rough seas while on a rock-climbing trip at Paritutu rock.
As darkness fell, helicopters continued to search for the missing three for whom police now hold grave concerns.
“In these winter months, it would be rather cold, and it would be concerning if we can't find them at first light,” acting area commander inspector Frank Grant says.
The two missing students are both 17- year-old boys, one an exchange student from Brazil.
Their instructor, a Taranaki man in his 40s, jumped in to the water to try and save them.
Helicopters earlier rescued nine students and another instructor from nearby rocks.
One had fallen into the water, but managed to climb back to safety.
They were taken to hospital, but have all been discharged.
The students were Year 13 students from the college and were on a rock climbing course run by the Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre.
Paritutu is popular with climbers, but local Phillip Vedder says the area is dangerous.
“It is rough, steep. Loose, gravel and so forth - muddy, slippery.”
Rough conditions haven't helped the 40-strong team of police searching this afternoon on land and sea.
“It is fairly turbulent...and we anticipate it'll be like that for the next couple of days,” Mr Grant says.
The search has been called off for the night and will resume at first light.
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11/08/2012 1:42:58 p.m.
It's always better to be safe than sorry.Prayers to the families and friends of the 3 missing, may Tangaroa bring you home safe.
9/08/2012 11:26:54 a.m.
@AmandaPrice Have you ever been on TOPEC, i personally know the Brazilian who is missing. The part they were on is safe without jackets. But they only didnt expect the waves to be so high. I've been around many times without life jacket on trips and events. The boys and the instructor are all very strong swimmers, but the current was really strong.
9/08/2012 3:15:50 a.m.
amanda price wrote:
I want to know how spotswood collage and the rock climbing company involved can justify there actions and desicion in allowing such an event to take place given the previous few days torrential rain and weather conditions! Not one of these children were wearing any life jackets considering how very close they were to the water and the sea being as rough as it was, someone needs to be held accountable for such a potentionally avoidable tragedy, starting with the school and the company instructing this event! I live in new plymouth and back beach and paratutu rock are known as dangerous places, i send my sons to school without a second thought that they are in safe hands with our school system and untill now trusted that our childrens best interests and safety are priority first and formost but now i wont be taking any chances with my childrens safety on school trips etc, it doesnt take a genius to work out those kids and instructors SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN LIFE JACKETS BEYOND A DOUBT and if the school or rock climbing company had none then those kids should NEVER have been rock climbing above that water! The school has no excuse for no one being in jackets as i know for a fact that spotswood school has them!
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