3 Nov 2010

Three New Zealanders not heard from since tsunami

11:16 am on 3 November 2010

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is looking for three New Zealanders missing since last week's deadly Indonesian tsunami.

Relatives of one of the men alerted authorities because they had not heard from the men, who are believed to have been on a yacht when the tsunami hit.

The ministry says the trio had been in an area where communication is still a problem and embassy officials are trying to track them down.

Mother confident of son's safety

The mother of one of them, 24-year-old Ryan Irrisarri, says she is hopeful he is safe.

Mr Irrisarri and two friends from Kerikeri have been sailing in the area since May and his mother, Joanie Irrissari, says he's an experienced sailor who knows to head out to sea after an earthquake.

She also says the trio were well north of the worst-affected area when the quake struck and she's confident they will be all right.

Indonesian officials say more than 400 people were killed and about 100 are still listed as missing as a result of the tsunami, which was triggered by a 7.7 earthquake in the Mentawai islands off the coast of Sumatra.