Search and rescue operations suspended for missing Kiribati ferry

International search and rescue operations for the missing inter-island ferry in Kiribati have been suspended, New Ze...

Posted: Feb 3, 2018 8:24 AM
Updated: Feb 3, 2018 8:24 AM

International search and rescue operations for the missing inter-island ferry in Kiribati have been suspended, New Zealand Maritime authorities announced Friday.

"Four search aircraft from New Zealand, Australia and the United States will return to their countries," said Kevin Banaghan, Acting Manager of New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Center.

A rescue aircraft from the Australian Maritime Safety Agency and a C-130 Hercules plane from the US Coast Guard joined the search efforts last week.

Local authorities also confirmed this week that 88 people were on board the ferry, including 65 adults, 13 teenagers and 10 children. Earlier reports estimated 50 people on board.

Seven passengers were rescued on January 28 after being spotted in a drifting dinghy by a New Zealand Air Force Orion patrol plane. The plane diverted a nearby fishing vessel to pick up the survivors, according to Sandra Ford, a spokeswoman of the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center.

The ferry, MV Butiraoi, left the island of Nonouti on January 18, bound for the Kiribati capital of South Tarawa, a 155-mile trip expected to take two days. Kiribati and Fiji began the search after the ferry failed to arrive. New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Center later took charge of search and rescue operations.

Kiribati, an island republic with a population of 108,000, consists of 33 coral atolls about midway between Hawaii and Australia. The archipelago, which is 3,425 miles north of New Zealand, is in a vast and remote part of the South Pacific.

Rescue workers described the area where the dinghy was found as "quite remote," and said other ships would take at least 24 hours to get there.

Kiribati vessels will continue searching, New Zealand authorities reported.

Susan A. Thornton, Acting Assistant Secretary at the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, offered condolences to the people of Kiribati following the tragedy. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they continue to search for those lost at sea," she said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 315026

Reported Deaths: 7257
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21684260
Hinds20385416
Harrison17973309
Rankin13650278
Jackson13456246
Madison10130217
Lee9988174
Jones8388163
Forrest7701152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6411148
Lamar624686
Lafayette6210119
Washington5342134
Bolivar4804132
Oktibbeha463298
Panola4601107
Pearl River4524146
Marshall4454103
Warren4397121
Pontotoc421172
Monroe4120133
Union411276
Neshoba4033176
Lincoln3972110
Hancock380287
Leflore3500125
Sunflower336490
Tate335484
Pike3330105
Scott316773
Alcorn313670
Yazoo311870
Itawamba300877
Copiah297865
Coahoma295979
Simpson295388
Tippah289068
Adams288682
Prentiss280360
Marion269680
Leake268673
Wayne262941
Grenada261987
Covington260381
George249448
Newton246963
Winston227881
Tishomingo227567
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208457
Holmes189174
Clay185654
Stone183033
Tallahatchie179041
Clarke178180
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164838
Smith162734
Walthall134345
Greene130633
Lawrence129324
Montgomery127242
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121929
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107233
Tunica105726
Claiborne102530
Benton100125
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67631
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540267

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798791529
Mobile41295809
Madison35175506
Tuscaloosa25932455
Shelby25309249
Montgomery24736593
Baldwin21422310
Lee15997172
Calhoun14577319
Morgan14431280
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Marshall12280225
Houston10650282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10075151
St. Clair9955245
Cullman9773194
Lauderdale9465243
DeKalb8866188
Talladega8344176
Walker7261278
Autauga7010108
Jackson6840112
Blount6776139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5583118
Dale4878113
Russell445938
Chilton4383113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia395177
Chambers3598123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303698
Winston275873
Bibb264864
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219069
Fayette213162
Henry190043
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178241
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153657
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140753
Wilcox127430
Bullock123342
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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