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Taranaki Police are scaling back the search for the three missing off New Plymouth, following more than 48 hours of extensive marine, land and aerial searches.
Incident Controller Inspector Frank Grant says around 40 searchers from Police, Land SAR and Army territorial’s have conducted a further shoreline search from around 7:30am this morning and completed this a short time ago.
“An aerial and marine search has also been underway today and Alpine Cliff Rescue volunteers have conducted a thorough search around the base of Paritutu Rock, however, sadly, the bodies of the three missing have not yet been recovered.”
Inspector Grant says, “Our thoughts are with the families of Bryce Jourdain, Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye and Felipe Melo at this tragic time. We are continuing to support them through this, and are also providing support and assistance to staff and students at Spotswood College and TOPEC, alongside Victim Support.”
“Police have used every available resource available to us over the past two days, in order to locate Bryce, Stephen and Felipe. Shoreline searches will be carried out throughout the course of the weekend, as will aerial searches, in a continuing effort to locate their bodies and return them to their loved ones.”
Police would like to thank all of the volunteers and organisations who have assisted in the search since Wednesday afternoon.