"This afternoon the Police will begin interviewing the survivors from the Oyang 70 on behalf of the Coroner. We will be enquiring into the deaths and disappearance of crewmen from this ship which sank in the Southern Ocean on Wednesday morning.
"The three crew from the Oyang 70 whose bodies were recovered were formally identified late this morning and steps to inform their next of kin have begun." said Detective Senior Sergeant Rae, "Their names until not be released until their next of kin have been advised.
"Though we are beginning to establish what happened we are still a long way from confirming the circumstances of the deaths and disappearances of the 6 crew," he said.
The ship arrived at Lyttelton early this morning and once the crew had been bussed away to their temporary accommodation the bodies of their three shipmates were also removed. It is anticipated that the Coroner will authorise the post mortem examinations of the deceased and these are likely to be carried out tomorrow.
Because of the contingent of vehicles and media following the bus containing the survivors from the wharf area the Police arranged for the tunnel to be closed. This was done so that they could be taken to their accommodation without a following. The crew's welfare and wellbeing was the focus of the Police attention at the time. The survivors have given clothes, toiletries and other personal items arranged through the shipping agent for the owners. This morning the crew have been allowed to cleanup and rest. Three of the crew, however, were involved in providing formal identification of their deceased shipmates and this too has made their time difficult.
The interviews by the Police are commencing this afternoon having allowed for the crew to have some breathing space.
Police do not expect to have a clear picture until all of the interviews have been completed and this is not likely to be the case until next week."