The Rescue Coordination Centre is continuing the search for two missing people in the waters off North Cape

21 March 2022

Police have now confirmed the recovery of three deceased people, and our thoughts are with the families impacted by this tragedy.

Five have been rescued and were taken to Kaitaia Hospital, all in a stable condition. They have now been discharged.

Rescue Coordination Centre spokesman Nick Burt says, "This is a significant rescue operation, with a number of agencies working together in the search. The weather conditions are more favorable today and we are completely focused on the search and rescue for the two people unaccounted for."

The operation is active, with helicopters searching from the air and vessels supporting the search in the water, and ground crews also searching along the shoreline. The HMNZS Taupo is now on scene and coordinating the maritime search.

An emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) was activated by a vessel at about 8pm, Sunday 20 March. The search and rescue operation commenced, and five people were winched to safety and taken to Kaitaia Hospital. At approximately 2.30am it was confirmed the vessel had sunk. Two bodies were located in the water this morning and recovered by rescue helicopter, and a third was recovered by a vessel assisting with the water search.

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