Search at Raoul Island

Pilot Mark Funnell and Police SAR Sergeant Mark Bond from Taupo leave Ardmore for Raoul Island.

Search under way for Conservation volunteer

DOC staff on the island, about 1000km northeast of New Zealand, resumed a shoreline search for their missing colleague at first light today, and a helicopter was due to leave on the five-hour trip to the island by late morning.

The Helicopter Services Squirrel machine, working for the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, left Ardmore just before midday today. Company chief executive John Funnell said RCCNZ were getting the helicopter to concentrate on the area around Fishing Rock, where the man went missing, and on outer rocks and small islands. He may have been washed on one of the rocks or islands.

A pilot and police officer were making the trip, with the rest of the room taken up with fuel tanks. Once they reached Raoul, the plan was to refuel the helicopter from stocks on the island and begin the search, Funnell said. They intended to stay overnight and carry on with the search tomorrow.

A Piper Comanche airplane which flew to Raoul yesterday was able to search for just under an hour, mostly concentrated on the water out from Fishing Rock, along with a quick coastal search.

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