13 Aug 2009

Tonga ferry victim list inevitably flawed

3:48 pm on 13 August 2009

The police in Tonga say of the 93 people missing after the sinking of the Princess Ashika ferry, they've been able to confirm fewer than half of them as having been on board.

The commander, Chris Kelley, says just 37 have been confirmed as being on the ferry when it sank a week ago.

"This process will take some time realistically. It may never be 100 percent accurate. There may well have been people on that boat that we don't identify. There may well be people that it is hard to establish whether they were on the boat or not. We may have a name but we cannot actually find a person."

The Tongan Police commander Chris Kelley.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Navy is waiting for the arrival at the weekend of the HMNZS Manawanui before carrying out a more thorough search of what they believe is the sunken ferry.