Cruise guests missing from White Island disaster

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Police released the names of
nine people missing in New Zealand’s volcano disaster. They are seven
Australian tourists who made a day trip to White Island from Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas cruise ship that
had left Sydney a few days earlier and two tour guides from New Zealand. 

Police said the list is not complete because they have not
been able to speak to all next of kin. Sixteen people in total are believed to
have died from the eruption.

Police said they believe eight of those dead remain on the
volcano, which teams have not been able to reach because the conditions are
considered too hazardous.

Another 28 rescued people remain hospitalized, including 23
with critical burns.

Half of the 47 visitors on the island when the volcano
erupted were Australians and most were from the cruise ship. Authorities say
there were 24 Australians, nine Americans, five New Zealanders, four Germans,
two Britons, two Chinese and a Malaysian on the island when the disaster
struck.

The Dallow family in Adelaide in Australia said they were
told by police on Wednesday that the body of Gavin Dallow, 53, had been
identified in Auckland. They learned late Tuesday that his wife, Lisa Hosking,
48, was critically injured with burns to half her body and was being treated in
a Hamilton hospital.

Police said Hosking’s 15-year-old daughter, Zoe, was
missing. Her family said police told them she was thought to be on the island.

Dallow’s father, Brian Dallow, said his lawyer son would
have examined the risks before taking his family to the volcano.

“Gavin was always one for being fairly articulate on what he
did,” Brian Dallow told reporters. “I’m pretty sure that they weren’t fully
informed of the dangers, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone.”

St. Aloysius College, where Zoe was a student, said the
school community shared the family’s deep grief.

“The whole staff, along with many students and their
families, have gathered in the chapel to pray for Zoe and her family and to
console one another,” principal Paddy McEvoy said.

“The family’s pain and that of their friends and the school
community are beyond words, yet we cherish all that we have shared with Zoe and
her family over 10 years,” McEvoy added.

The family of a mother and daughter from the Australian city
of Brisbane said the volcano had appealed to their sense of adventure.

Family friend John Mickel said they had held out hope that
Julie Richards, 47, and daughter Jessica, 20, had survived until official
notification came from New Zealand police on Wednesday morning.

Mickel said the family had been excited about the mother and
daughter going on a cruise across the Tasman Sea.

“In particular, they loved the adventure that went with all
the outdoor sports,” Mickel said. “If there was an adventure that offered
itself, they were the ones to do it.”

Jessica was a promising Australian Rules footballer and was
studying to become a veterinarian, he said.

Police said Karla Matthews and Richard Elzer, both 32, a
couple from the Australian east coast town of Coffs Harbor, are among those
missing. Their companion, Jason Griffiths, 33, was confirmed on
Tuesday as being critically injured in a New Zealand hospital.

But their six traveling companions on the cruise said on
Wednesday that all three had since died.

“We … located our third friend, Jason Griffiths, in a
hospital in the early hours of the next morning,” the friends said in a
statement distributed by the Australian government. “From that moment until the
moment of his passing, Jason was surrounded by friends and family members.”

Griffiths appears to be the hospital patient whose death
increased the confirmed death toll to six.

“We are incredibly saddened to have lost three of our
closest friends,” the friends said.

Police have identified Melbourne student Krystal Browitt,
21, as among the missing. Her former high school, Kolbe Catholic College, said
her sister, Stephanie, is also unaccounted for.

Principal Nick Scully told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
that Krystal Browitt had been described by her former teachers as a “beautiful
soul.”

According to her Facebook account, she was studying
veterinary nursing at Melbourne Polytechnic.

Hayden Marshall-Inman’s brother described the tourist guide
as having a passion for the volcano.

“My brother, he’s a genuine, good Kiwi guy,” Mark Inman told
Australia’s Ten Network television. “He’s got a love for life, he lives in the
moment of time and he’ll do anything for anyone.”

“He’s talked about the passion for the island, the passion
for the water and the passion for the people — he
loved the fact that he could interact with internationals, locals and show them
what New Zealand culture and White Island has to offer,” Inman added.

Marshall-Inman was a guide for Whakatane-based White Island
Tours and was leading a tour group on a 7-hour trip from the cruise ship to the
volcano when it erupted.

Inman expected the volcano would continue to be a tourist
destination despite the tragedy.

“100%. It’s extremely unfortunate what’s happened. The
tourists and the locals have been going to that island for 30 years plus and
everybody’s experienced what is such a unique and magical place, but
unfortunately on this day it wasn’t,” Inman said.

Tipene Maangi, another guide, was identified by police as
among the missing, but some relatives refuse to give up hope.

“I’m not giving up on you, I promise, never,” the
24-year-old’s cousin, Anihera Paku, wrote on Facebook hours before the police
announcement.

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