Approximately 50 travelers remain missing after yesterday’s volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island, the majority of whom were on a tour from Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas.
“We are devastated by yesterday’s events and our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy,” a spokesperson for the cruise line tells Travel Agent. “We are working together with local authorities, and we are providing all the help and care we can to our guests and their families, including offering medical resources and counseling. We are also sending staff members from both our ship and our Sydney and Auckland offices to assist family members however possible.”
The cruise line said that the Ovation of the Seas will remain in port as long as needed to assist with the situation. Family members who are concerned about the status of relatives traveling aboard Ovation of the Seas can inquire by calling the following numbers:
Australia – 1-300-026-240
New Zealand – 0800-002141
USA – 800 829 4050
According to the New Zealand Herald, at least five people have been confirmed dead, and it is feared that as many as two dozen others may have been killed as well. Additionally, police believe that anyone who could have been rescued alive would have already been airlifted out during the initial evacuation, which took place on Monday (local time). Further aerial reconnaissance flights have shown “no sign of life,” according to an official statement.
A further report from the New Zealand Herald noted that the quick-fire eruption that took place on White Island would have been “basically instantaneous.” The eruption took place Monday at 2:11 p.m. local time.