APDR February 2020: News from across the Tasman

At 2.11 pm on Monday 9 December, 47 adventure tourists from a huge cruise ship moored at Tauranga, were on New Zealand’s most active volcano at Whakaari/White Island 50 km from shore when the volcano suddenly erupted. Clouds of hot ash and poisonous sulphur dioxide gas enveloped most of the party, causing very severe burns and a number of immediate fatalities.

While those casualties were being civilian helicoptered or ferried back to shore at Whakatane, for ambulance transfer to hospital, an RNZAF P-3K2 Orion at RNZAF Base Whenuapai was immediately tasked to fly to Whakaari/White Island to carry out surveillance over the area.

The NZDF, working with other agencies under the direction of NZ Police, also immediately sent a number of assets to the area to help as needed. Two NH90 helicopters were flown to Whakatane to assist, and OPV HMNZS Wellington with its embarked SH-2G(NZ) Seasprite helicopter was despatched from Auckland to Whakatane to offer support.

Read more in the current issue of APDR (Free to read with registration or via Facebook/Linkedin): https://venturaapdr.partica.online/apdr/apdr-feb-2020/features/news-from-across-the-tasman

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