12 May 2011

Still no sign of six people missing off Kiribati

6:50 pm on 12 May 2011

A US Coastguard hercules aircraft has completed another six-hour search for a group of young people missing from Kiribati but there's still no sign of them.

The six have been missing since Friday when they set out on a canoe towing a smaller dinghy and are thought to have drifted out to sea.

US coastguard Lieutenant, Joshua Shimabukuro, says they'll send an aircraft out tomorrow for another search, but is not sure if they'll continue looking after that.

Meanwhile, the Kiribati Search and Rescue Coordinator Captain Omirete Tadureka says the still hope the six will be found.

He says in a previous case, people were found to have survived after a longer period with no word

"This has happened in the past when one fishing boat is taking our nationals, our missing nationals with them, and then they just reported back one month later. So we have raised our alert to the fishing boats about the same incident and if they have any findings they must report that."

Captain Tadureka says they've also broadcast notices across the radio for people on the outer islands to report any findings.