Seven survivors of missing ferry found

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2018 17:49 IST

South Tarawa [Kirbati], Jan 28 (ANI): Seven survivors, including an unconscious baby, aboard a dinghy have been found by rescuers while searching for a ferry carrying 50 people that went missing in the waters off Kiribati.

A week ago, the MV Butiraoi, with 50 people on board, went missing.

The crew, on a military Orion plane, used radar to locate the dinghy. It took them two hours to find the five-metre craft adrift in the Pacific Ocean with seven people on board, reported the Guardian, citing the New Zealand defence force, as saying.

John Ashby, from the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre, said the dinghy was one of the two, believed to have been carried by the MV Butiraoi.

According to the authorities, the survivors had scrambled onto the small wooden dinghy after the ferry sank.

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand, which was also assisting with the search, said the Orion dropped food, water and a radio to the dinghy's passengers.

It wasn't clear yet what caused the ferry to sink, New Zealand Defence Force Air Commodore Darryn Webb said.

"Our heart goes out to the baby and to all those remaining of the 50-plus people," he said.

Kiribati is a remote, impoverished nation that is home to about 108,000 people.

The 33 atolls that make up Kiribati, occupy a vast area in the equatorial Pacific. (ANI)