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Ovation of the Seas Pax Possibly Injured in Volcanic Eruption

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Apparently they have flown over the island and there is no sign of life. So so sad.

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Official NZ Police announcement 

 

**"Update: Eruption on White Island – recovery operation"

The Police Eagle helicopter, rescue helicopter, and NZDF aircraft have undertaken a number of aerial reconnaissance flights over the island since the eruption.

No signs of life have been seen at any point.

Police believe that anyone who could have been taken from the island alive was rescued at the time of the evacuation.

Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island.

Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already.

As part of the recovery a NZDF ship will approach the perimeter of the island at first light to deploy drones and observational equipment to further assess the environment.

Police continue to receive information and advice from GeoNet experts to support the recovery operation.

The Police Disaster Identification (DVI) team are assembling in Whakatane to await deployment.

Both New Zealanders and overseas tourists are believed to involved, and a number were from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.

The Police 105 number can be used by members of the public to submit information regarding friends or family who might have been visiting White Island during the eruption.

People from overseas can call +64 9105 105.

They can also use the online form at the Police website here.

At the request of New Zealand Police, New Zealand Red Cross has activated the Family Links website for people wanting to register themselves as safe or register an inquiry about a loved one.

If you are worried about a friend or family member following the White Island eruption, first contact them as you normally would.

If you cannot make contact, you can register them through this website: https://familylinks.icrc.org/new-zealand/en/Pages/Home.aspx

The friends and family of those involved remain at front of mind for Police.

Support is being put in place and Police are working to provide them with information as it becomes available.

 

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So at this point, does anyone have an idea of how many cruise passengers/crew are not accounted for?

 

m

 

 

 

 

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Here's a series of tweets from someone on the ovation that just got off the island 20 minutes before the eruption.  There was another group on the island when it erupted, and they rescued a few it seems (if you look at all the tweets)

 

 

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36 minutes ago, cruisegirl1 said:

So at this point, does anyone have an idea of how many cruise passengers/crew are not accounted for?

 

m

 

 

 

 

Overall Press are saying around 25-27 - don't know how many are from the cruise ship 

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Royal's crisis line has been opened and we'll be updating it with more info as it becomes available. For anyone trying to reach family or crew, they can call 888-829-4050

 

source:

 

 

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So sad.  Prayers for the families of all who are involved.  Hope for those who are still missing.

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Tragic.  Thoughts are prayers to those impacted.

 

I have this excursion booked for an early 2020 Ovation cruise.

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19 minutes ago, nellydean said:

Volcanologists warned about increased activity and yet people were still taken to the island. Crazy and irresponsible, by all those offering tours at this time.

 

RIP those lost. Here in the UK we are hearing 27 still missing. It will be a miracle if any of them survive.

 

I read that it raised from level 1 to level 2 risk about a week ago, indicating a 'moderate risk' of volcanic activity. Currently it's a 3, and it was a 4 when it was actively erupting so I guess that's as high as it goes?

 

This is, I think, the first eruption since 2001. I'm wondering how often the risk was elevated above level 1 in that time. If half the time it was a level 2, that warning wasn't so out of the ordinary. If it had only raised to level 2 once or twice, then that was significant.

Edited by rabidstoat
grammar

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I am so sorry for those affected by this tragedy.  OMG, devastation on a vacation.  With those missing.

 

I can only pray.

 

 

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5 hours ago, mef_57 said:

I want to know why RCL sells this activity. It clearly states it is the most active volcano in the region and requires a gas mask. But there is no warning of the risks involved. Plenty of people consider cruise line activities to be 'safer' than others, and I know you need to use your own judgement and research, but I can't help but toss a little responsibility onto RCL for exposing passengers to this. It's a big ticket item (over $300pp) and I understand the volcano warning point often goes to 4 and then drops, but something that erratic shouldn't be a common sell...by anyone...in my opinion. But people flocked to see the lava flowing into the sea from Hawaii despite risks, so there will always be a demand, I guess.  A real shame, though. Their poor families.

 

 

You answered your own question, "It's a big ticket item (over$300pp.)"  Did RCI inform the passengers that the risk level had increased last month?  

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5 hours ago, mef_57 said:

I want to know why RCL sells this activity. It clearly states it is the most active volcano in the region and requires a gas mask. But there is no warning of the risks involved. Plenty of people consider cruise line activities to be 'safer' than others, and I know you need to use your own judgement and research, but I can't help but toss a little responsibility onto RCL for exposing passengers to this. It's a big ticket item (over $300pp) and I understand the volcano warning point often goes to 4 and then drops, but something that erratic shouldn't be a common sell...by anyone...in my opinion. But people flocked to see the lava flowing into the sea from Hawaii despite risks, so there will always be a demand, I guess.  A real shame, though. Their poor families.

 

I would never consider going on an active volcano safe...daring, yes...it's not for me.  

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4 hours ago, lissie said:

 

I did the trip about 3 weeks ago - I posted some photos in the Australia/NZ forum. I did it as a local tourist -  its not a tour just for cruise passengers. I went with the same operator as the tours went with yesterday - there is only one operator. 

 

When we  went the level was at 2 - it subsequently went to 4 and is now back at 3.  This is a routine tour which operates year around - albeit often cancelled because of sea conditions. Our tour was rescheduled from a couple of days earlier because of weather. 

 

We each had to sign a waiver saying we understood the risks. We had a safety briefing. On the island we couldn't leave our group of approximately 25 pax which was accompanied by 2 guides - one in front one behind - we had to walk single file to avoid inadvertently standing on a vent. 

 

The boat holds about 50 passengers  and on our tour there were 2 similar sized boats. Therefore 4 groups with 8 guides on the island - plus quite a number of staff on the ship and at the wharf area. 

 

We all knew we were going on active volcano.  We knew the risks. I'm a trained geologist - I knew the risks better than most. I'd still rate the drive from Rotorua as a more dangerous activity than White Island. I'd do the trip again in a heart beat. If I'd died on that island I'd have died doing what I love to do - travelling and exploring. Its a terrible thing that's happened but I for one don't think it was an outrageously dangerous thing to do.  After all you can die at a theme park or hiking - and people do. 

Well said

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4 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

I don't know - do you?  Unless you are on board now and had registered for the tour you don't have that answer - so why post inciting speculation?  It serves no valuable purpose in the midst of this tragedy and only makes you look foolish.  You will have plenty of opportunity to do that later - but now let's focus on supporting those involved.

 

I do not know which is the reason I am asking.  You seem content not to know.  Foolish is not asking the question. 

 

Edited by K32682

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On FB, a passenger on the Ovation has let us know that the deceased include one crew member and two passengers.

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Jacinda Ardern (NZ Prime Minister), police and the mayor of Whakatane are holding a press conference now. It sounds like eight people are still unaccounted for. Of the confirmed, five people are dead, most others are still in hospital (mainly in burns units around the country). 

 

Several rescue helicopters were able to reach the island after the explosion. Those missing were apparently close to the site of the eruption. 

 

The Level 2 alert has been reached ‘hundreds of times over the past 10 years’ according to a volcanologist interviewed on Radio New Zealand this morning.

Edited by musselpoint

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4 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

I do not know which is the reason I am asking.  You seem content not to know.  Foolish is not asking the question. 

 

 

I think you need to re-read my comments.  I said there will be plenty of time to do that later - now is the time to focus on support of those involved with the tragedy.  There is a time and place for your concerns, but now is not it.  All the facts of the situation are not yet understood.  Foolishness is also demonstrated with poor timing with regards to this.

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Just now, leaveitallbehind said:

 

I think you need to re-read my comments.  I said there will be plenty of time to do that later - now is the time to focus on support of those involved with the tragedy.  There is a time and place for your concerns, but now is not it.  All the facts of the situation are not yet understood.  Foolishness is also demonstrated with poor timing with regards to this.

 

Yes, the facts are not yet understood.  So in the meantime thoughts and prayers and let RCI get it's damage control plan into place and come up with a rational explanation why passengers went on their excursion when the alert level had increased the month before.  At some point they will have to answer two important questions:  What did they know and when did they now it?   

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