11 Aug 2012

Search for missing 3 scaled back

8:41 am on 11 August 2012

Police in Taranaki are scaling back the search for three people missing in the sea off New Plymouth since Wednesday afternoon.

More than 48 hours of sea, land and aerial searches have found no signs of them.

Bryce Jourdain, 42, dived into the sea after Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye and Felipe Melo, both 17, were washed away below Paritutu Rock on Wednesday during a climbing expedition,

Inspector Frank Grant says volunteers thoroughly searched the base of Paritutu Rock on Friday.

However, attempts to search a sea cave were abandoned because conditions were too rough to get an inflatable boat inside.

Police say a scaled-down search will continue over the weekend.

Wife tells of amazing man

The wife of the New Plymouth climbing instructor missing with two college students he tried to rescue, says her husband was an amazing man who always put others first.

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon Robyn Jourdain spoke of her husband's passion for young people and his focus on helping them achieve.

She says he was a fantastic father to his two children Isaac,13, and Grace 9.

Mrs Jourdain read a statement and answered questions but refused to discuss the incident or the Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits Education Centre where Mr Jourdain worked.

School to stay open

Spotswood College will be open all weekend to provide support to students as they await news of their two missing classmates.

Principal Mark Bowden says students need clear messages on how to deal with their grief and what they may experience with each other.

Mr Bowden says the school will be open all weekend if students need help.

Taranaki outdoor pursuits safety check

Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre passed its last safety check in July.

Outdoors New Zealand did the audit and chief executive Garth Dawson says all its safety management systems and operating procedures were ticked off.