BREAKING NEWS: Three missing, huge sea water operation underway

Wednesday 8 August 2012, 4:32PM
By Michael Riley


 BREAKING NEWS: 1 New Plymouth sea instructor and 2 international students from Spotswood College in New Plymouth, are missing at Back Beach after they fell in Paritutu rock.

A party of 13 was understood to be rock climbing on the seaward side of Paritutu Rock, near New Plymouth's Back Beach, when reports came in of people falling in the water at about 1.30pm.

Police have confirmed 10 people have been rescued, but two international students and an instructor are unnaccounted for.

Two shoreline searches would be carried out, one from Back Beach to Oakura and another from Paritutu towards Urenui, acting Sergeant Daniel White said at the scene.

An inflatable rescue boat, port pilot boat and commercial fishing boat have been in the water searching for the missing.

The Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter was used to winch people off the rocks and a light plane was being used to help in the search.

Rough seas are making rescue efforts difficult with a 3m swell pounding the area. High tide was at 1.43pm.



this is breaking news, more to come..